Skip to main content

Full text of "The bolsheviks in the tsarist Duma"

See other formats














Digitized by the Internet Arciiive 

in 2008 witin funding from 

IVIicrosoft Corporation 


Chapter I 

Why the Social-Democrats took part in the Elections — Electoral 
Programme of the Bolsheviks — Workers' Suffrage — The Elections in 
the Large Towns — How the Government Prepared the Elections — 
The Bolsheviks on blocs with other Parties — The Role of Pravda in the 
Election Campaign 

The Third State Duma, which was the first Duma to complete 
the full legal period of five years, was dissolved in the middle of 
the summer of 191 2. It had a majority of nobles and landlords, 
and proved an obedient tool in the hands of the government. The 
fractions of the Social-Democrats and the bourgeois democrats 
(Trudoviks) were small in number and were of course unable to 
prevent the Duma from passing all the bills submitted to it by the 
government. The Cadets, the party of the liberal bourgeoisie, 
although professedly in opposition to the government, were 
afraid of resolute words and deeds. Under the slogan of" saving 
the Duma," the Cadets and the Progressives, a group akin to them, 
were cjuiet and submissive, allowing the majority on the Right 
to do as they pleased. The Third Duma gave the government all 
that it desired, it was a " law-abiding and efficient " people's 

In a survey of the five years' work of the Third State Duma, on 
the day after its dissolution, Pravda wTote as follows : 

The entire activity of the State Duma was directed towards the 
preservation of the class interests of its majority. Therefore these 
tive years of an " efficient " Duma did not in any way assist in the 
solution of a series of urgent questions which are of enormous 
importance to the country. All attempts made by the Left Parties, by 
means of jnterpellations, to shed light on the dark at^pects of Russian 
life and to draw to them the attention of the country were frustrated 
hy the votes of the dominant majority. ... A good riddance. 

With these words Pravda took farewell of the Third Duma, 
expressing therrbv the general attitude of the workers and 

The I'ourth Duma \vas to follow in the loolsli ps ui ihc Third. 
The elect(;ral law remained the same, and theref(;re the majority 
in the new Duma was bound to be as Black Hundred as before. 


There was no doubt that the activities of the Fourth Duma would 
also be directed against the workers and that its legislation would 
be of no use either to the workers or the peasantry. 

In spite of these considerations the Social-Democratic Party 
decided to take an active part in the elections as it had done in 
those for the Second and Third Dumas. The experience of the 
preceding years had shown the great importance of an election 
campaign from the standpoint of agitation, and the important role 
played by Social-Democratic fractions in the Duma. Our fractions, 
while refusing to take part in the so-called " positive " work of 
legislation, used the Duma rostrum for revolutionary agitation. 
The work of the Social-Democratic fractions outside the Duma was 
still more important ; they were becoming the organising centres 
of Party work in Russia. Therefore our Party decided that active 
participation in the campaign was necessary. 

Thus, while there was no difference of opinion within the ranks 
of the Social-Democratic Party with regard to participation in 
the elections, there was a sharp clash between the Bolsheviks and 
Mensheviks over the electoral tactics and over the role of the future 
Duma fraction. 

The problem of the Fourth State Duma was only one of the 
problems of current Party work, but it reflected all the differences 
between the two factions of the Russian Social-Democracy. 
As early as January 191 2, six months before the dissolution of the 
Third Duma, the Prague Conference of the Party framed the 
programme for the forthcoming election campaign. The Con- 
ference recognised that " the task to which all other tasks should 
be subordinated was sociahst propaganda on class lines and the 
organisation of the working class." The tactical line of the Party 
at the elections was defined as follows : 

. . . the Party must wage a merciless war against the tsarist 
autocracy and the parties of landlords and capitalists that support it, 
persistently exposing at the same time the counter-revolutionary 
views and false democracy of the bourgeois liberals (with the Cadet 
party at their head). Special attention should be paid in the election 
campaign to maintaining the independence of the party of the 
proletariat from all the non-proletarian parties, to revealing the 
petty bourgeois nature of the pseudo-socialism of the democratic 
groups (mainly the Trudoviks, the Narodniks, and the Socialist- 
Revolutionaries), and to exposing the harm done to the cause of 
democracy by their vacillations on questions of mass revolutionary 

The Bolsheviks regarded the election campaign to the State 
Duma as an opportunity for far-reaching agitation and propaganda 


and as one of the means of organising the masses. By attempting 
to secure the election of their own candidates, the Bolsheviks did 
not transform the campaign into a mere struggle for a few seats 
in the Duma. The activity of the Duma fraction both within and 
outside the Duma had great revolutionary importance. But the 
election campaign itself was of no less importance and throughout 
its course the revolutionary position of Social-Democracy had to be 
preserved in all its purity, without being toned down or retouched 
for any secondar}- considerations. 

What were the arguments of the Menshevik-Liquidators ? 
Their estimate of the coming election campaign to the Fourth 
Duma proceeded from the assumption that only two camps would 
tight : the reactionaries and the Black Hundreds on the one hand, 
and the Liberals on the other (a bloc was expected to be formed of 
the Cadets, the Progressives, and the Left Octobrists). Proceeding 
from this estimate, they proclaimed as the slogan for the campaign 
the necessity of " striving to oust reaction from its position in the 
Duma," of " wresting the Duma from the hands of reaction," etc. 
In its essence this position of the Alensheviks meant that the 
election campaign would be conducted hand in glove with the 

The divergences between the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks 
were still more strikingly manifested in their respective political 
platforms advanced during the election campaign. In the resolu- 
tion of the Prague Conference referred to above, the Bolsheviks 
defined the political platform to be advocated during the elections 
as follows : 

The principal slogans of our Party at the coming elections should 
he the following : (i) a democratic republic, (2) an eight-hour day, 
(3) the confiscation of all landlords' estates. During the whole of our 
election campaign these demands should be clearly explained on 
the basis of the experience of the Third Duma and the entire activity 
of the government in the sphere of both central and local administra- 
tion. The rest of the Social-Democratic minimum programme, such 
as universal suffrage, freedom of association, popular election of 
judges and officials, the substitution of an armed people for a standing 
army, etc., is to he brought up in our propaganda and linked up 
with the above three slogans. 

These three basic slogans of the Bolshevik Party, aiterwards 
called the " three whales," formulated the fundamental demands 
of the Russian workers and peasants. The slogan of a " democratic 
republic " directly raised the question of overthrowing tsarism, 
even though that tsarism was masked by an emasculated Duma, 
'i'his slogan exposed the " constitutional illusions," and showed the 


working class that the reforms passed by the State Duma would 
not help them in the least, and that there was no possibility of 
improving their lot under the existing form of government. 

The other two " whales " expressed the main economic demands 
of the workers. The eight-hour day was the chief demand in the 
economic struggle of the working class. Nearly all the strikes, 
which were continually increasing in extent, were accompanied 
by the demand for an eight-hour day. The slogan of the confisca- 
tion of the landlords' estates offered a revolutionary solution of 
the agrarian question and formulated the demands and aspirations 
of the hundred million Russian peasants. 

The rest of the minimum programme vv^as linked up with these 
three basic demands, i.e. the Bolsheviks emphasised that it could 
only be achieved after the basic demands of the revolutionary 
movement had been realised. 

What was the Menshevik election programme ? It was precisely 
those secondary demands, advanced by the Bolsheviks only in 
association with the main revolutionary slogans, that the Men- 
sheviks put forward as independent demands. 

The Menshevik platform presented the three basic slogans of 
the Bolsheviks in a weakened form. Instead of " a democratic 
republic " they demanded the " sovereignty of the people's 
representatives " ; instead of " the confiscation of the landlords' 
estates " they asked vaguely for a " revision of the agrarian 
legislation," etc. 

The entire Menshevik platform involved the substitution of 
slogans and demands adapted to the contingencies of a legal 
movement for those on which the revolutionary struggle of the 
working class was proceeding. 

The electoral law, passed by the government prior to the 
elections to the First Duma, was so drafted as to secure a majority 
for the bourgeoisie and the landlords. The voting was not dirept 
but by a system of stages. Various classes of the population (the 
landlords, the big property-owners in the towns, the peasants, 
working men, etc.) had first to elect electors, who in turn elected 
the deputies from amongst themselves. For the peasants and 
working men the system was still more complicated ; the workers, 
for example, first elected delegates, who in their turn elected 
electors, and only the latter took part in the Gubernia electoral 
colleges, which elected the deputies. In addition there were a 
number of property qualifications — for instance in the towns 
only householders (tenants of apartments) were entitled to vote. 

The complicated electoral machinery devised by the government 
did not, however, yield the results desired by the latter in the 


elections to the First and Second Dumas. The majority in those 

Dumas was in opposition to the government, and both Dumas 
were dissolved before the expiration of their terms of office. After 
the dissolution of the Second Duma on June ^, 1907, a new 
electoral law was passed which still further curtailed the suffrage, 
and excluded large groups of the population. Special attention 
was paid to the workers, and the number of electors in the workers' 
curiae was greatly reduced. However, the framers of the new 
electoral law did not dare to go so far as to prevent the workers 
from having any representation in the Duma at all. The law 
provided that in six specified Gubernias (St. Petersburg, Moscow, 
Kharkov, Kostroma, Vladimir and Yekaterinoslav) the electoral 
colleges were to elect one deputy from the workers' curiae. But 
tiiis provision was not extended to the large working class con- 
stituencies in the Urals, in Poland, in the Caucasus, etc. 

. But even this restricted suffrage w^as not enjoyed by all working 
men. Only workers who had worked at a given factor}^ for not less 
than six months were entitled to take part in the election of 
delegates (the primary stage). On the one hand this provision 
opened a vast field for corrupt practices, and on the other it made 
it extremely difficult for the revolutionary parties to select candi- 
dates beforehand. A w^orkman could be dismissed on the eve of 
the election and thus be disqualified from voting ; even if he 
secured work at any other factory, he would not be entitled to vote 
or be elected* because he would not have been employed at this 
place long enough to qualify. 

Notwithstanding these obstacles, it was clear that the elections 
in the workers' curiae must result in a victory for the radical 
parties. It was obvious that the workers would not support even 
the Liberals, let alone the reactionaries. 

• The case was somewhat different during the elections in the 
towns, where the electors were divided into two categories : tliv 
first embracing the big bourgeoisie, and the second, householders 
(or occupiers of apartments), among whom there were many 
thousands of democratic electors, such as working men, artisans, 
minor officials, clerks, etc. The fight in the second curiae virtually 
proceeded between the Cadets and the Social-Democrats. 

Here, too, the government resorted to a number of tricks in 
order artificially to reduce the number of electors. One method 
was provided by the very system used for compiling the lists of 
electors. Although the law granted the suffrage to all house- 
holders who had reached the age of twenty-live, only those were 
entered on the lists who paid a special house-tax, i.e., those who 
occupied the large and expensive apartments. All other would-be 


electors could have their names entered on the lists only by making 
a special application to the electoral commission. But the electors 
who made such application had to pass through so many police 
obstacles as to make them lose all desire to participate in the 
elections. First of all, it was necessary to obtain a certificate from 
the police, who did their best to hamper the issue of such certifi- 
cates. The electors were made to apply repeatedly in person to the 
chief officer of the appropriate police station ; the certificates which 
they received were deliberately so worded, as to be later declared 
void by the election commissions, or the elector was told that he 
was already too late in making his application, and by the time he 
found out the truth, and established his rights, the period allowed 
for such application would actually havje elapsed. 

Another method of restricting the number of electors was the 
famous " disqualifications," based on an arbitrary interpretation 
of the law. Such " disqualifications " were issued by all kinds of 
authorities, and they were aimed not only against individual 
persons who were regarded with suspicion by the authorities, but 
against whole groups of the population. Thus, by one stroke of 
the pen, 95 per cent, of the Jews living beyond the " pale of settle- 
ment " were disfranchised. Each governor acted at his own 
discretion ; each pohce officer interpreted the electoral law in his 
own way. 

During the elections to the Fourth Duma, the tsarist govern- 
ment repeated the " successful " experiment it performed in tlie 
elections to the previous Duma. 

Immediately after the dissolution of the Third Duma, a special 
election apparatus was set up by the Ministry of Home Aff^airs, 
for the purpose of drafting amendments and supplements to the 
electoral law with a view to securing a government majority. In 
some Gubernias, special curias for the clergy were formed, while 
in others the clergy were included in the landlords' curias. The 
clergy generally played a large part in the elections, and there 
were a great number of deputies wearing the cassock in all the 
previous Dumas. The army of the clergy was commanded by the 
Synod, which instructed them not only how to catch the souls of 
the parishioners, but also how to catch their votes. 

In the outlying regions, where the population consisted mainly 
of non-Russians, among whom anti-government sentiments pre- 
vailed, .special Russian curiae were set up, i.e., special Russian 
groups were formed consisting largely of government officials, who 
were frequently allotted a number of electors far exceeding that 
fixed for the native population of the region. 

Under such a system of elections, Black Hundred candidates 


could easily secure election in the mixed city curiae, which con- 
tained large masses of indifferent and politically unenlightened 
voters. Accordingly, the tactics the Social-Democratic Party 
adopted in the city curias were different from those adopted in the 
workers' curia?. 

The Bolsheviks thought it necessary to put up candidates in all 
workers' curiae and would not tolerate any agreements with other 
parties and groups, including the Menshevik-Liquidators. They 
also considered it necessary to put up candidates in the so-called 

' second curiae of city electors " (the first curiae consisted of large 
property owners and democratic candidates had no chance there 
at all) and in the elections in the villages, because of the great 
agitational value of the campaign. But in order to safeguard against 
the possible victory of reactionary candidates, the Bolsheviks 
permitted agreements respectively with the bourgeois democrats 
(Trudoviks, etc.) against the Liberals, and with the Liberals 
against the government parties during the second ballot for the 
election of electors in the city curias. The five big towns (St. 
Petersburg, Moscow, Riga, Odessa and Kiev) had a direct system 
of elections with second ballot. In these towns the Social-Demo- 

rats put up independent lists of candidates, and as there was no 
danger of Black Hundred candidates being elected no agreements 
were entered into with the Liberal bourgeoisie. The resolutions 
of the Prague Party Conference, which established these tactics, 
emphasised that " election agreements must not involve the 
adoption of a platform, nor must the agreements bind the Social- 
Democratic candidates by any political obligations whatsoever, 
or prevent the Social-Democracy from resolutely criticising the 
counter-revolutionary nature of the Liberals and the half-hearted- 
ness and inconsistency of the bourgeois democrats." Hence, the 
igreements entered into by the Bolsheviks in the second ballots 
were not in the nature of a bloc of political parties. 

The main difficulty the Social-Democrats, had to contend with 
in the election campaigns was that our Party was illegal and was 
subjected to constant and direct attacks from the tsarist police. 
The election campaign had to be organised from underground, 

;uder the daily threat of prosecutions, arrests and e.xiles. 

The Mensheviks were in a somewhat better position, both 
because they entered the fight with their demands cut down and 
adapted to the legal possibilities then in existence, and because 
they possessed more literary forces. The leaders of the Men- 
sheviks— Dan, Potresov, etc. lived legally in St. Petersburg, and 
openly contributed to the IVess, while the whole of the Bolshevik 
leadership was either in exile, in prison or in emigration abroad. 


Still, it must be said that during the elections to the Fourth Duma, 
the Bolsheviks possessed a powerful weapon which they had not 
possessed in the previous campaigns. This weapon was provided 
iDy the paper Pravda, which began to be published a few months 
before the elections. 

The role played by Pravda during the elections was enormous. 
The paper, acting as the mouthpiece of the advanced, revolutionar}' 
and class-conscious masses of the workers, at the same time fought 
against the Liquidators, against the influence of the Liberal bour- 
geoisie, and the amorphous " non-party " attitude which is so 
harmful to the labour movement. 

Beginning with June 191 2, the pages of Pravda were filled with 
articles, notes, correspondence, etc., bearing on the approaching 
elections. Pravda also conducted a great campaign against the 
absenteeism of the city democratic electors, calling upon them to 
safeguard their rights and to perform all the formalities required. 
Every issue of the paper reminded the electors to see to it that their 
names were not left out of the electoral lists and to make the 
requisite applications to the electoral commissions. Pravda called 
upon each of its readers to secure not less than three voters from 
among his comrades at the bench or his neighbours in the 
house where he lived. 

Still greater was the role played by Pravda in the preparation 
for the elections in the vi^orkers' curiae. Whereas in the elections in 
the city curiee importance attached to election meetings, which, of 
course, were subject to strong police surveillance, the elections in 
the v/orkers' curise had no electoral weapon. The law prohibited 
any workers' election meetings. Under such conditions the agita- 
tion of Pravda acquired especially great importance. 

Chapter II 

The Election Campaign in St. Petersburg — The Elections — The 
Electoral Congress — The Annulment of the Elections in the Biggest 
Factories and Mills — Strike and Demonstration against the Annulment 
of the Elections — The Second Elections — The Acceptance of the 
Bolshevik Instructions — Election of Deputies 

The election of delegates from factories and mills was to take 
place in tlie early autumn of 1912 ; but during the summer 
months preparation and agitation were already being conducted 
among the workers of St. Petersburg. 

The Central Committee attached exceptional importance to the 
elections in St. Petersburg and therefore instructed the St. Peters- 
burg organisation to extend its work as widely as possible and to 
mobilise all the party forces for the election campaign. The St. 
Petersburg Committee set up a commission to superintend the 
elections, and the city wards were allocated among its members. 

The Bolshevik headquarters for the campaign were the editorial 
offices of Pravda, which became the scene of hard and continuous 
work. On these premises, meetings were held with the rep- 
resentatives of the districts and of the individual factories and 
mills. Simultaneously illegal election meetings were organised in 
the city districts. 

Owing to the fact that incessant watch was kept by the police on 
every " suspicious " worker, we had to resort to all sorts of 
subterfuges in order to gather together even in small groups. 
Usually, in order to avoid the attentions of the police, small 
meetings of not more than ten to twenty peOple were called. 
Summer helped us. Under the guise of picnic-parties, groups of 
workers went to the suburbs, mostly into the forest beyond the 
Oklita. The forest was the best refuge from police spies, who 
would not venture beyond the outskirts, for it was easy to escape 
from them there, and they were afraid of being attacked in some 
out-of-the-way spot. 

At the meetings vehement arguments arose with the Liquida- 
tors. Our Party called on the workers to enter the elections on 
the basic unabridged demands and to elect Bolsheviks only as 
delegates. The I>i(|uidators talked continually about " unity," 


the necessity of a united front, the necessity of abandoning 
factional disputes and, of course, of electing their candidates. 

At some places the SociaUst-Revolutionaries appeared, and 
insisted on the boycott of the elections, but their proposals met with 
no success among the workers. The chief arguments at all the 
meetings took place between the Liquidators and the Bolsheviks. 

Towards the end of summer, the " forest " meetings started to 
discuss candidates. To ensure the success of the election cam- 
paign, agitation in favour of the prospective candidate should have 
been immediately commenced among all the workers at the 
factory or mill concerned. This, however, was impossible ; the 
prospective candidate would certainly have been arrested the 
moment his name became widely known. The delegate was not 
safe even after the elections, but a prospective delegate was 
foredoomed to be trapped by the police. Therefore the names of 
the prospective candidates were kept secret, and the workers were 
only informed of them at tlie last moment before the elections. 

Which political parties were presenting candidates at the 
elections ? The Black Hundreds with their " Union of the Russian 
People," " Union of the Archangel Michael," and similar organisa- 
tions were afraid even to show their faces at the factories and mills. 
The parties of the Liberal bourgeoisie also had no chance among 
the workers. Although the Cadets professed to defend the interests 
of the workers, the latter understood perfectly well the sort of 
protection they could expect from the bourgeois parties, led by 
the bitterest enemies of the proletariat — the industrialists and the 

Although they did not venture to agitate for their own can- 
didates, the Cadets could not withstand the temptation to attempt 
to hamper the campaign of the Social-Democrats. A few days 
before the elections they spread rumours that the Social-Demo- 
crats were boycotting the Duma. This was an old lie which had 
been used by the Cadets during previous election campaigns. 

On the one hand the parties jof the Right and the Liberals were 
out of the running, and on the other the Duma was boycotted by 
the Socialist-Revolutionaries ; in fact, only the Social-Democratic 
Party took the field in the fight in the workers' electoral college 
(curia). The struggle was conducted almost exclusively between 
the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks. But at the same time it was 
possible that some unexpected candidates might be elected as 
independents, and might subsequently play a part in the selection 
of electors. Such non-party people usually argued against party 
candidates, that " one should not be led by the reins of any party," 
that " it is necessary to elect honest people known to the workers." 


The Bolsheviks persistently attacked this position, explained 
its harmfulness to the working class and pointed out that non- 
party people were men without any firm convictions or principles, 
who might easily wander in the wrong direction. The working 
class can be genuinely represented only by members of a party 
which possesses a platform and a programme of its own, and 
which is controlling its representatives. 

The nearer the date of the elections drew, the more intense 
became the electoral struggle. The precise date of the elections 
was not known beforehand. This was one of the tricks of the 
government, wliich, by fixing the election date suddenly, attempted 
to take the workers unawares and to decrease the number of voters. 

In St. Petersburg, the election of delegates to the workers' 
electoral college was fixed for Sunday, September 16. Yet the 
workers only learned of this on Friday, September 14, and at 
some factories even as late as Saturday. At the Semyanikovsky 
works ihe announcement of the elections was posted up during a 
three days' holiday, i.e., at a time when there were no workers^ 

By the date of the elections both the Bolsheviks and the Men- 
sheviks had mobilised all their forces. According to the law, 
the factor}' adpiinistration had to provide premises for the election 
meeting, but even this legal requirement was not always complied 
with. At one of the biggest works in St. Petersburg, the Obukhov 
works, the election could not take place because at the time 
appointed all the premises were closed. At the Izhorsky works, 
although an election hall was provided, entrance to it was only 
allowed for fifteen minutes. After fifteen minutes the door was 
closed and bolted and the workers who arrived later were prevented 
from voting. Siemens and Halske, the International Sleeping 
Car Company, and many other undertakings, especially those 
outside the city boundaries, acted in an even simpler fashion. The 
workers of tliesc factories were not entered by the management on 
the oHicial lists of voters. When the workers learned this and 
lodged protests with the electoral commission, they were told that 
it was too late and that the commission could do nothing to 
restore their rights. 

A number of measures were also adopted to ensure that the 
I lection meetings proceeded as desired by the authorities. In some 
places the police arrested the prospective delegates and the 
most active revolutionary workers. Legally, outsiders, including 
the works management and the police, had no right to be present 
at the meetings, but the strong police patrols posted near the 
works bore witness in ihc most lorn inciiii' fa^'.liion to the pressure 


exercised by the police. In order to provide a reason for the 
annulment of the elections, the management of some works did 
not present the lists of workers who were qualified to vote in 
virtue of their period of employment. At the Putilov works the 
management started to divide the shops into separate groups at the 
very moment of the elections, declaring that the repair-shop 
workers, the carpenters, the painters, etc., had to vote separately. 

These few instances — and we could quote many more — show 
the conditions under which the election of delegates took place 
at St. Petersburg. The factory administration everywhere actively 
assisted the government in curtailing the electoral rights of the 
workers. But all these methods proved futile. Apart from the fact 
that not a single candidate of the Right was successful, nearly 
everywhere the workers passed resolutions on the most burning 
questions agitating the masses at that time : protesting against the 
non-admission of trade union delegates to the congress of factory 
inspectors, demanding the immediate convocation of a congress 
for the election of the social insurance council, dealing with 
general political questions, etc. Thus the course of the elec- 
tion of the workers' delegates showed that the whole of the St. 
Petersburg proletariat had taken up a thoroughly revolutionary 

The election in the car-repair shops of the Nikolaievsky Rail- 
way,^ where I was working, took place in a similar fashion to those 
at other St. Petersburg factories. Our works, where 3,000 men 
were employed, was known of old as one distinguished by its revo- 
lutionary temper. The election meeting was held in the " Yama " 
(the Hole), one of the workshops bjg enough to hold some 10,000 
people. During the 1905 revolution and subsequently, huge 
meetings, embracing the whole district, vv^ere held on these 
historic premises. At the election meeting, after a general report 
on the elections, a discussion followed on the tasks of the election 
campaign, on the State Duma, on the participation of the workers 
in the election, etc. 

Several months previously, in the middle of the summer, I had 
learned that the Party organisation had nominated me as a can- 
didate. As the elections drew nearer, the question of candidates 
began to be hotly debated in the departments and the workshops. 
All the workers in the factory knew me by my former work, and 
my candidature therefore met with general support and it was 
clear that I should be elected by an overwhelming majority. The 
second candidate proposed by the Bolsheviks was Comrade 

^ The railway connecting Moscow and St. Petersburg (now Leningrad), now 
called the " October Railway." — Ed. 


Melnikov. In addition candidates nominated by the Mensheviks 
and independent candidates were put forward. 

The candidatures were vehemently debated and the meeting 
considered the merits of each candidate individually. Apart from 
the political platform, the personal characteristics of each candidate 
were discussed, his activit}', his influence at the works, his political 
steadfastness, etc. The voting was by secret ballot, and when the 
count was taken it was found that I had been elected by a large 
majority. Our second candidate, Comrade Melnikov, was also 
elected, the remaining candidates receiving only two or three votes 

Of the eighty delegates elected to the St. Petersburg workers' 
electoral college, the overwhelming majority were Social-Demo- 
crats. Many of them had a revolutionary past ; they had been 
persecuted by the police, tried in courts of law, exiled to distant 
regions. Some of them, however, had not made up their minds 
about Party differences and were vacillating between the two 
factions of the Party. Thus it was not clear who would be elected 
in the second stage of the elections (the selection of electors to the 
workers' electoral college) which would determine the choice of 
the future deputy. 

Botli the lilensheviks and the Bolsheviks started an intensive 
campaign among the delegates, trying to win over the doubtful 
ones. The campaign for electors was even more impetuous 
than that for the delegates. Here, too, the Duma election law had 
placed a number of obstacles in our path. No meetings of the 
delegates were allowed and all attempts to arrange such meetings 
under some pretext or other were prevented by the police, who 
watched carefully to ensure that the workers' delegates should not 
communicate with one another. 

For this reason press campaigns played an enormous part in 
the second stage of the elections. Pravda and Liich (The Ray)^ 
agitated for their respective factions, calling on the delegates 
to vote for their candidates. Both factions mobilised the entire 
arsenal of their arguments, and the polemics between these two 
newspapers were even more bitter tiian during the election of the 

'I'he principal argument of the Menshevik-Liquidators against 
the Bolsheviks was the accusation that the latter were breaking the 
•unity of the working class. By this talk of unity the Mensheviks 
attempted to side-track the discussion of political programmes, 
for they knew beforehand tiiat they would be beaten on that 
issue. Whilst evading this discussion in every possible way, they 

' Luch represented the views of the Mensheviks and LiquidiUors. — Ed. 


continually cried out for " agreement," " unity " and " personal 

" The only way out of the difficult situation," wrote Luch^ " is 
through an agreement between the Social-Democratic factions, or 
failing that, between the Social-Democratic delegates, for the 
purpose of united action at the congress of delegates and of 
electing from the Social-Democratic delegates — irrespective of 
their tendencies — the most steadfast electors to be chosen on 
account of their personal qualities." 

This was indeed the only way out for the Mensheviks, because 
under the flag of " the most steadfast, to be chosen on account of 
their personal qualities," it was possible to elect a man with any 
political platform, consequently also a Menshevik, even if the 
Mensheviks were not in a majority among the representatives. 

Pravda, exposing the Mensheviks, wrote that there was no 
occasion to be afraid of a struggle within the working class, that 
such a struggle would not destroy unity but, on the contrary, 
would strengthen it in the future. 

This struggle is inevitable, since the workers have to decide which 
tactics the Social-Democratic fraction in the Duma should adopt. 
This struggle — we specially stress this — will not endanger in the 
slightest the unity of the working class, for the question now is 
whether this or that delegate be chosen as elector. The workers 
must and will act unitedly, but precisely for the sake of this unity 
it is necessary that the workers' deputy should represent the views 
of the majority and not those of the minority. 

The Bolsheviks proposed that the vote should be taken after both 
political platforms had been discussed at the meeting. This was 
precisely what the Mensheviks did not want ; they were afraid 
that the discussion would turn out unfavourably for them. 

The Bolsheviks considered the contest over the choice of electors 
as a conflict between political platforms determining the tactics 
of the future Social-Democratic fraction in the State Duma, 
whereas the Mensheviks tried to win* this fight by advancing the 
principle of pergonal election, i.e., by stressing the personal 
qualities of individual candidates. 

Disputes between the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks grew 
more bitter, not only among the leaders but also among the rank 
and file, at factories and works and among the delegates them- 

A week before the selection of electors, an illegal meeting of 
delegates took place in the forest two or three versts from Porok- 
hovye station. The meeting was attended by about thirty delegates 
and a few representatives from the Bolshevik St. Petersburg 


Committee and the Organisation Commission of the Mensheviks. 
Since many of the prominent members of the Party were present, 
the issues were presented in their most acute form. The battle was 
fought out in the open. The Bolsheviks argued that it was neces- 
sary to choose as electors comrades who would carry out the 
programme of the Party and submit to Party directions ; the 
Liquidators insisted on their point, that in order to avoid a split 
it was necessar)' to elect individuals irrespective of their platform. 

Comrade Lashevich spoke on behalf of the Bolshevik St. 
Petersburg Committee. With his usual impetuousness he declared: 
" We shall unmask you, we shall show the workers what lies behind 
your hypocritical phrases about unity." 

After five hours of stormy arguments our resolution secured an 
absolute majority, having obtained two-thirds of the votes of the 
delegates present. But to this result the Liquidators refused to 

All efforts to reach an agreement failed, each side categorically 
rejecting the various proposals advanced by the other. While these 
negotiations to find a common line of action were proceeding, 
individual delegates attempted the same task and each faction 
of the Party tried to win their support. 

On the day before the electoral college was to assemble, the 
Menshevik delegates threatened a split if their proposals were not 
accepted. L'uch wrote that if no agreement were reached on the 
question of the choice of electors, the Mensheviks would also 
nominate their own candidates in the second electoral city curiae 
of St. Petersburg where the two sections of the Party had put up 
a joint list of candidates. Of course their threat did not affect our 
decision in the slightest degree. 

The workers' electoral college met on October 5. Throughout 
the election the authorities continued to adopt methods of obstruc- 
tion. The date of the meeting was only announced on the evening 
before, i.e., a few hours before the delegates were to assemble ; 
this haste was intended to disrupt the electoral college. In 
addition, a new surprise had been prepared. At the same time as 
this announcement was made, the delegates from a number 
of factories and mills were " disqualified." On October 4, the 
day before the electoral college was to assemble, the workers of 
twenty-one factories and mills were notified that the elections ol 
their representatives had been declared invalid. Finally, at the 
assembly of the electoral college itself, the governor " disc[ualified " 
the delegates of another eight undertakings in the Schlicsselburg 
district. Some of the largest factories had their delegates dis- 
qualified, such as the Pulilov works, which had elected n|ne 


delegates, and the Nevslcy shipbuilding yard, which had sent 

The Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks nominated their own can- 
didates for the six electors to be chosen by the electoral college. 
Although our list had been prepared, it was not published before 
the election day in order to avoid exposing the candidates to the 
risk of arrest. 

The electoral college, which met in the St. Petersburg City 
Duma building, was scheduled to open at noon, but the majority 
of the delegates had arrived an hour before time. They became 
acquainted with one another and tried to discover who would 
support the Bolsheviks and who the Mensheviks. 

The official chairman of the college, appointed by the govern- 
ment, was Demkin, the vice-mayor of St. Petersburg. He was one 
of the worst of the Black Hundreds, and, zealously performing his 
police duties, he tried to hamper as much as possible the already 
restricted elections. In the preliminary proceedings only one hour 
was allowed for the discussion of the lists of candidates. 

Of the fifty delegates, five or six were non-party and the 
rest Social-Democrats, either Bolsheviks or Mensheviks. This 
gathering, restricted exclusively to the delegates, was the final 
stage of the struggle between the two factions. Now the choice 
had to be made, electors had to be chosen. The discussion was 
exceptionally violent ; each group presented its own list of 
candidates and its own programme. There was no longer any 
question of compromise. Speeches were devoted to winning the 
support of those delegates who, for some reason or other, had not 
yet decided how to vote. 

Despite the opposition of the Mensheviks, we succeeded in 
raising the question of the election programme. A Menshevik 
representative spoke first, but when a Bolshevik commenced to 
reply, Demkin came into the hall, broke into the discussion, and 
ordered us to proceed with the ballot. 

In the hall a ballot-box was provided for each delegate with 
his name pasted on it. The voting was by secret ballot and it 
took more than an hour for the papers to be sorted and the 
election procedure to be concluded. All those elected were Social- 
Democrats, four of them from the list published by the 

The atmosphere in v/hich the elections were held and the hasty 
" disqualification " of the delegates from half of the factories and 
mills aroused the indignation of the St. Petersburg workers. The 
government had gone too far. The workers answered with a 
powerful movement of protest. 


The Piitilov factory was the first to act. On the day of the 
elections, October 5, instead of returning to their benches after 
dinner, the workers assembled in the workshops and declared a 
strike. The whole factory came out — nearly 14,000 workers. At 
3 p.m. several thousand workers left the factory and marched 
toward the Nar\sky gate singing revolutionary songs, but they 
were dispersed by the police. The movement spread to the Nevsky 
shipyards, where 6,500 workers organised a meeting and a political 
demonstration. They were joined by the workers of the Pale and 
Maxwell mills, the Alexeyev joinery works, etc. On the following 
day the workers of the Erickson, Lessner, Heisler, Vulcan, 
Duflon, Phcenix, Cheshire, Lebedev, and other factories struck. 

The strike quickly spread all over St. Petersburg. The strike 
was not restricted to those factories at which the election of 
delegates had been annulled, but many others were also involved. 
Meetings and demonstrations were organised. Several factories 
linked their protests against the persecution of trade unions 
with those against the nullification of the elections. The strike 
was completely political ; no economic demands whatever 
were formulated. Within ten days more than 70,000 were involved 
in the movement. The workers demonstrated very clearly that 
they would not give up their right to vote and that they realised 
both what the elections meant and what the work of the future 
workers' deputies in the Duma would be. 

The strike movement continued to grow until the government 
was convinced that it could not deprive the workers of their right 
to vote and was forced to announce that new primary elections 
would be held in the works affected. Many factories and mills 
which had not participated before in the election of delegates 
were included in the new list. In consequence the elections 
of electors had to be annulled and new elections held after addi- 
tional delegates had been elected. This was a great victory 
for the working class and particularly for the St. Petersburg 
proletariat, which had shown such revolutionary class-con- 

The supplementary elections of delegates from more than 
twenty undertakings were fixed for Sunday, October 14. 
I'ravcla and our Party organisation carried on as strong a propa- 
ganda campaign as they had duriYig the first elections. The 
■movement of protest against the workers being deprived of tlieir 
electoral rights continued while the elections were going on, and 
the meetings at the factories and mills revealed a growth of re- 
voluti<jnary sentiment and a heightened interest in the election 


For the most part, the same candidates were nominated 
in the " disqualified " undertakings, but this time they were 
given instructions which had been worked out by the Bolshevikg. 
These instructions were, adopted almost everywhere and, charac- 
teristically enough, even at some factories where Mensheviks had 
been elected. At the Semyanninkovsky factory, where one Bol- 
shevik and two Mensheviks had been successful, the Mensheviks 
tried to add an amendment containing a Menshevik slogan on the 
right of association. This amendment was rejected by an over- 
whelming majority and the draft of our instructions adopted 
without modification. 

The Bolshevik instructions, which had been signed by thou- 
sands of workers, were also adopted at those factories and mills 
where the first election of delegates was allowed to stand. 

As soon as the supplementary delegates had been elected, 
a date was fixed for the meeting of the electoral college at which 
six electors had again to be chosen for the workers' electoral 
college. But this time there was no opportunity before the college 
met to seek agreement on a joint list of candidates. The discus- 
sions between the two factions were as violent as before ; both 
Mensheviks and Bolsheviks holding to their former positions and 
refusing to make any compromise. 

The second electoral college assembled on October 17, 
attended by almost twice as many delegates as had been present at 
the first ; in all there were more than eighty. The strikes and 
protest meetings had obviously had some influence on Demkin, the 
official chairman of the electoral college. This time the discussion 
lasted for more than four hours. In the discussion of the election 
platform, all the revolutionary tasks with which the working 
class was faced were thrashed out, and the arguments between 
the Bolsheviks and the Liquidators developed with renewed 

The delegates decided to use this occasion to make a political 
demonstration and proposed a number of resolutions on current 
political questions. Resolutions were passed, protesting against 
the Balkan war (which was then in progress) ; binding the future 
. deputy to raise the question of retrying the case of the members 
of the Second Duma who had been exiled ; and protesting against 
the sentences on the Black Sea sailors. The delegates also issued 
an appeal calling on the voters of the second electoral city-curiae 
to support the candidates of the Social-Democratic party, as the 
" only steadfast, revolutionary, and fearless defenders of the 
people's interests ; as the only fighters against political oppression 
and for complete freedom and rights of all nationalities," At the 


end of the meeting, tlie St. Petersburg workers' instructions to 
their delegates, as proposed by the Bolsheviks, were unanimously 
adopted. These instructions were drafted by the Central Com- 
mittee of our Party^ and, as I have already said, were adopted at the 
meetings held to elect the delegates. The instructions emphasised 
the importance of using the Duma tribunal for revolutionary 
propaganda and demanded that both the St. Petersburg deputy 
and the whole Social-Democratic fraction should fight for the 
■' unabridged " demands of the working class. 

The following is the full text of the instructions as passed by the 
delegates without any additions and amendments : 

The demands of the Russian people advanced by the movement of 
1905 remain unrealised. 

The growth of reaction and the " renovation of the regime " have 
not only not satisfied these demands, but, on the contrary, have made 
them still more pressing. 

Not only are the workers deprived of the right to strike — there is 
no guarantee that they will not be discharged for doing so ; not only 
have they no right to organise unions and meetings — there is no 
guarantee that they will not be arrested for doing so ; they have not 
even the right to elect to the Duma, for they will be " disqualified " 
or exiled if they do, as the workers from the Putilov works and the 
Nevsky shipyards were " disqualified " a few days ago. 

All this is quite apart from the starving tens of millions of peasants, 
who are left at the mercy of the landlords and the rural police chiefs. 

All this points to the necessity of realising the demands of 1905-. 
The state of economic life in Russia, the signs already appearing ot 
the approaching industrial crisis and the growing pauperisation of 
broad strata of the peasantry make the necessity of realising the 
objects of 1905 more urgent than ever. 

Wc think, therefore, that Russia is on the eve of mass movements, 
perhaps more profound than those of 1905. This is testified by the 
Lena events, by the strikes in protest against the " disqualifications," 

As was the case in 1905, the Russian proletariat, the most advanced 
class of Russian society, will again act as the vanguard of the move- 

The only allies it can have arc the long-sufFcring peasantry, who 
are vitally interested in the emancipation of Russia from feudalism. 

A fight on two fronts — against the feudal order and the Liberal 
bourgeoisie which is seeking a union with the old powers— such is the 
form the next actions of the people must assume. 

But in order that tlie working class may honourably discharge its 
role as the leader of the movement of the people, it must be armed witli 
the consciousness of its interests and with a greater degree of organi- 

'Actually they were drifted by Coin St.ilin. lip, 


The Duma tribune is, under the present conditions, one of the 
best means for enhghtening and organising the broad masses of the 

It is for this very purpose that we are sending our deputy into the 
Duma, and we charge him and the whole Social-Democratic fraction 
of the Fourth Duma to make widely known our demands from the 
Duma tribune, and not to play at legislation in the State Duma. 

We call upon the Social-Democratic fraction of the Fourth Duma, 
and our deputy in particular, to hold aloft the banner of the working 
class in the hostile camp of the Black Duma. 

We want to hear the voices of the members of the Social-Demo- 
cratic fraction ring out loudly from the Duma tribune proclaiming 
the final goal of the proletariat, proclaiming the full and uncurtailed 
demands of 1905, proclaiming the Russian working class as the 
leader of the popular movement and denouncing the Liberal bour- 
geoisie as the betrayer of the " people's freedom."^ 

We call upon the Social-Democratic fraction of the Fourth Duma, 
in its work on the basis of the above slogans, to act in unity and 
with its ranks closed. 

Let it gather its strength from constant contact with the broad 

Let it march shoulder to shoulder with the political organisation 
of the working class of Russia. 

In spite of the fact that the Bolshevik instructions were adopted 
unanimously, two independent lists of candidates — Bolsheviks and 
Mensheviks — were presented at the election. As in the previous 
electoral college, voting was by secret ballot. Only five candidates 
received an absolute majority, Kostyukov and myself for the 
Bolsheviks, and Gudkov, Petrov, and Sudakov for the Men- 
sheviks. Another ballot was taken on the following day and two 
Bolsheviks, Ignatyev and Zaitstev, topped the poll. Lots were 
drawn and Ignatyev was chosen elector. 

The second stage of the elections thus resulted in equal repre- 
sentation for the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks, each controlling 
three of the electors. The Party had demanded that all the electors, 
with the exception of the candidate for deputy endorsed by the 
Party, should withdraw and submit to the decision of the majority. 

Comrade Stalin, summing up the results of the elections in 
Pravda, emphasised the fact that the endorsement of the Bol- 
shevik instructions clearly showed who should be elected to the 
Duma : 

No matter how the Liquidators try to obscure the issue, the will 
of the delegates was quite clear on the most important point, the 
question of the instructions. By an overwhelming majority the 

^ An allusion to the name of the party of the Cadets (Constitutional Demo- 
crt\ts) which called itself also the " Party of the People's Freedom." — Ed. 


delegates adopted the instructions of Pravda to the deputy. . . . 
It is obvious that the instructions differ radically from the Liquida- 
tionist platform and that in fact they are completely anti-Liquida- 
tionist. The question is : if the Liquidators dare to nominate their 
own candidate for deputy, what about the instructions which, 
according to the delegates' decision, are binding on the deputy ? 

The Liquidators, however, attached little importance to the 
clearly expressed will of the delegates. They intended to nominate 
their own candidate regardless of results and were ready to go to 
any lengths to achieve his election. 

The short interval between the selection of electors and the 
election of the deputy was spent in continual negotiations between 
the party committees and the electors. We showed that only a 
Bolshevik should be elected to the Duma since everything pointed 
to the fact that the majority of the workers supported the Bol- 
sheviks. The preliminary stages of the elections had gone in our 
favour. In the first electoral college, four of the electors chosen 
were from our list, while of the other two only one was definitely 
a Liquidator, as the other had gone over to the Mensheviks after 
the elections. The second college was also Bolshevik in sympathy 
as the endorsement of the instructions showed. We insisted that 
an accidental distribution of votes should not be made the basis 
for misrepresenting the will of the majority of the St. Petersburg 

None of our arguments had the slightest effect on the Liquida- 
tors ; and they even rejected the suggestion, made by some 
Bolsheviks, that unity could be achieved by deciding the question 
by drawing lots. Neither side made any concessions and both 
went to the provincial electoral college determined to send their 
own candidate to the Duma. 

The college met on October 20. Four deputies were to be 
elected to represent the St. Petersburg Gubernia : one for the 
peasants, two for the landlords and houscowners, and the fourth 
for the workers. The college was composed of sixty-six electors 
representing these divisions. The Progressives and the Octobrists 
were in the majority and had concluded an alliance against the 
Rights and the Nationalists. 

Prince Saltykov, the chairman appointed by the government, 
read the rules and regulations governing the election proceedings, 
verified the list of electors and proposed that the election of 
deputies be commenced. First, a deputy was elected from the 
peasants' electors, of whom four were Progressives and one Right. 
Wc agreed to vote for the Progressive candidate on condition that, 
if elected, he would vote witii the Social-Democratic fraction on 


bills concerning the workers. The candidate they nominated was 
elected. A Progressive was also successful for the houseowners, 
while an Octobrist was chosen to represent the landlords. 

Then the college proceeded with the election of a deputy to 
represent the workers. All the workers' electors, both Men- 
sheviks and Bolsheviks, went to the ballot. When the votes 
were counted, I was declared elected, having received thirty-four 
votes against twenty-nine. The Liquidators received considerably 
less votes. 

Enraged by their failure, the Liquidators at once opened a 
slanderous campaign about the way the elections had been con- 
ducted, trying in this way to explain away their defeat. 

Chapter III 


Attcr the Elections — V'isits and Letters from Workers— The Com- 
position of the Social-Democratic Fraction — Jagello, the Deputy 
from Warsaw — The Bolshevik " Six." 

The State Uuma opened a month after the elections in St. 
Petersburg. This month was spent in preparations for the 
formation of the Social-Democratic fraction, and in other 
preliminary work connected with the activity of our fraction. 

Activity within the Duma was only a small part of the tasks 
which confronted the workers' deputies, the predominant part of 
their work taking place outside of the Duma. Immediately the 
elections were over, I became absorbed in this and was faced with 
many new Party and trade union duties, work for Pravda, etc. 

As it had been decided that I should visit the editorial offices 
every day, I was in close touch with Pravda. At that time Pravda 
was under the direction of -Comrade Stalin, who was living 
" illegally," and who had also been charged with the conduct 
of the recent election campaign and with the preparations for the 
organisation of the Duma fraction. 

When I met Stalin, he raised the question of the necessity of 
arranging, even before the Duma opened, a conference between 
the Central Committee and the workers' deputies. Such a con- 
ference would, of course, have to be held abroad. 

At the conference, a plan of action for the Bolshevik section of 
the Duma fraction was to be worked out and a number of questions 
connected with our future activity discussed. I entirely endorsed 
Stalin's proposal, being of the opinion that it was necessary for 
the workers' deputies to establish close contact with the Central 
Committee from the outset. We did not succeed, however, in 
convoking the conference before the opening of the Duma. It was 
-Jecided to postpone it until the first Duma recess, when it would 
be possible to prepare for it in a more systematic manner. 

I met Comrade Stalin frequently both at the editorial ofliccs 
and elsewhere. Often Stalin would come to my apartment in 
disguise in order to avoid police spies. During this iiutial period, 


Comrade Stalin's advice was of great help to me and to the other 
workers' deputies. 

During my daily visits to the Pravda offices, I met the represen- 
tatives of labour organisations and became acquainted with the 
moods of the workers. Workers came there from all the city 
districts and related what had taken place at factories and works, 
and how the legal and the illegal organisations were functioning. 
Conversations and meetings with the representatives of the 
revolutionary workers supplied me with a vast amount of material 
for my future activity in the Duma. 

The workers kept in close touch with their deputies, whom they 
regarded as the genuine representatives of their interests. As soon 
as the results of the elections were published in the press, workers 
of various factories began to apply to me with the most diverse 
requests and questions. In order to meet delegates from the 
factories and, at the same time, to be nearer the Pravda office, it 
was necessary for" me to live in the centre of the city. After having 
taken my discharge from the works, I hired an apartment in 
Shpalernaya Street in the neighbourhood of the State Duma 
and moved there from my former home beyond Nevskaya Zastava. 

The police spies, who had not been inattentive to me even when 
I was employed at the works, became more assiduous when I was 
elected delegate ; after my being chosen as an elector their 
numbers increased still further, and now they positively besieged 
my apartment, watching my every step and following all my 

Every day I received a voluminous correspondence not only 
from St. Petersburg, but also from other cities, and many workers 
called to see me. In order that these consultations with the masses 
should continue, I published in Pravda the hours of my " recep- 
tion " at home. Some of these numerous visitors called on behalf 
of various organisations, while others came on personal matters. 

The conversations and letters touched upon absolutely every 
aspect of the workers' lives. I was kept informed of the work 
accomplished and of the persecutions incurred by the trade unions, 
of strikes, lock-outs, unemployment, and new cases of police 
oppression. I was asked to intercede on behalf of those arrested, 
and received many letters from exiles, who requested me to organ- 
ise financial and other material relief for them. Among those who 
came on personal matters, some even asked if I could help to find 
work for them. Very often visitors called in order to talk about the 
Duma and its work, to express their wishes and to give advice. 

It was necessary to answer all the letters promptly and to deal 
with the requests. In a number of cases I had to initiate petitions 


and conduct negotiations with various government institutions. 
All this took a lot of time and my day was fully occupied even 
before the Duma opened. 

From telegrams and local information we gradually obtained a 
picture of the election results throughout Russia, and very soon 
the approximate composition of the Social-Democratic fraction 
in the future Duma became known. Not all the information, 
however, was sufficiently precise or reliable. Thus, it was not 
clear who IMankov, the deputy from Irkutsk, was. The news of the 
election of a Social-Democratic deputy for the Maritime district 
in Siberia proved to be erroneous ; later on it transpired that 
the deputy was not a Social-Democrat, but a Trudovik. In 
general, the setting of the elections was such that no absolute 
reliance could be placed on the comiyiunications of the official 
telegraphic agency. Very often the telegrams simply stated that a 
" Left " had been elected, but it was unknown to which Party he 

We only knew which deputies had actually been elected after 
they had come to St. Petersburg. Being a St. Petersburg deputy, 
I published an announcement in Pravda inviting all Social- 
Democratic deputies arriving in St. Petersburg to a discussion on 
the organisation of a fraction. I invited them to obtain my address 
from the editorial office of the newspaper. This announcement was 
made for the purpose of putting the deputies in touch with 
Pravda immediately, and thus bringing them under the influence 
of the Bolshevik organ. Thus the first meeting-place of the Social- 
Democratic deputies in St. Petersburg was the editorial office of 
Pravda ; it was only after they had been there that they w^ent to 
the State Duma. The iVIensheviks, Chkheidze and Skobelev, 
also visited Pravda and tried to establish " friendly " relations 
with the Bolsheviks. 

After the majority of the Social-Democratic deputies had arrived 
in St. Petersburg, conferences were held to exchange information 
concerning the instructions and opinions of the various regions 
from which they came. At first we held our meetings in th(? 
'I'aurida Palace, but subsequently at our own premises. The 
fracti/in rented an apartment of four or five rooms at 39 Rozhdest- 
venskaya. 'I'hese headquarters were immediately surrounded by 
the police, whf) kept continuous watcii on the entrance and 

As in the Second and 'I'hird Dumas, the Social-Democratic 
fraction in tlie Fourth Duma began as a united fraction, com- 
prising both Bolsheviks and Menslieviks. But unlike llie preceding 
cases, a sharp struggle broke (Hit at once between the two groups. 


The Third Duma had opened in a period of violent reaction 
and decline in the revolutionary struggle ; the elections to the 
Fourth Duma, on the other hand, had taken place when the 
labour movement was on the up-grade. The working class, 
taking up the revolutionary fight again, was rapidly liberating 
itself from Liquidationist tendencies. At the elections in the 
workers' colleges the struggle between the Bolsheviks and the 
Mensheviks had flared up with exceptional passion and it was 
natural that it should be continued in the Social-Democratic 
fraction. Accordingly from the first meeting a state of intense 
hostility prevailed between the Bolshevik and Menshevik sections 
of the fraction. 

The first meeting of the fraction was held a short time before 
the opening of the Duma. Taking advantage of their majority in 
the fraction the Mensheviks attempted to secure most of the 
seats in the presidium of the fraction, but we forced them to 
yield almost half the seats to the Bolshevik section. Chkheidze, a 
Menshevik, was elected chairman, Malinovsky, a Bolshevik, vice- 
chairman, and Tulyakov, another Menshevik, treasurer. The two 
other members of the presidium were the Bolshevik, Petrovsky, 
and the Menshevik, Skobelev. 

There were fourteen deputies in the Social-Democratic fraction, 
six being Bolsheviks and seven Mensheviks. The last member, 
the Warsaw deputy, Jagello, supported the Mensheviks. The 
majority for the Mensheviks, although an insignificant one, 
seemed at first sight to entitle them to claim that they had the 
support of the majority of the working class. This claim, however, 
was far from true. Closer examination of the election results shows 
that the Bolsheviks were really the leaders of the workers and that 
the Bolshevik deputies were the only genuine representatives of 
the working class in the State Duma. 

AH the elections in the six workers' colleges of the largest 
industrial areas had resulted in victories for the Bolsheviks. The 
Menshevik deputies, on the contrary, were elected from non- 
working-class centres, chiefly the border provinces, where the 
majority of the population was petit bourgeois. The distribution 
of workers in the areas concerned shows for whom the working 
class voted. In the six provinces with workers' electoral colleges 
there were 1,008,000 workers (in factories and mines), whereas 
in the eight provinces which returned Mensheviks there were 
214,000 workers, or if we include the Baku province, where the 
workers were disfranchised, 246,000 workers. From these figures 
it is obvious that, in fact, the Bolsheviks represented five times 
as many workers as the Mensheviks. Only an electoral system 








































^ • 

"— 1 


















specially designed to reduce the representation of the working 
class could bring about such a correlation of forces within the 
Social-Democratic fraction. 

The preponderating influence which the Bolsheviks enjoyed 
among the masses can also be proved by comparing the numbers 
of deputies elected by the workers' electoral colleges to the 
previous State Dumas. In the Second Duma, twelve I\Ien- 
sheviks and eleven Bolsheviks were elected by the workers' 
colleges ; in the Third there was an equal number of each ; 
while in the Fourth Duma, only six deputies were elected, but 
they were all Bolsheviks. At the time of the Second Duma, which 
coincided with the London Congress of the Russian Social- 
Democratic Labour Party, the majority of the Party w^as definitely 
Bolshevik ; and in the Fourth Duma there could be no doubt that 
the Bolsheviks had the support of at least three-fourths of the 
revolutionary workers. 

The fact that the composition of the Social-Democratic fraction 
did not correspond to the Party composition was not accidental. 
The opportunist character of parliamentary labour parties is# 
common to all bourgeois countries. This is partly due to the 
electoral system which, under any bourgeois regime, is directed 
toward limiting the rights of the most progressive, revolutionary 
workers, and> partly to the greater adaptability to and interest in 
parliamentary activity displayed by the non-proletarian elements 
of socialist parties — the petty bourgeoisie, the office employees, 
and above all the intelligentsia. 

Whereas the Bolshevik wing of the fraction consisted only of 
workers who came to the Duma straight from factories and work- 
shops, three of the Menshcvik seven were intellectuals ; Chkheidze 
was ajournalist, Skobelev an engineer, Chkhenkeli a lawyer. These 
three were elected in the Caucasus, which had also sent Men- 
sheviks to the previous Dumas. A decisive factor in this Men- 
shcvik stability in the Caucasus was the local opposition to the 
policy of Russification pursued by the tsarist government. The 
Caucasian elections, in particular, show the extent to which the 
Mensheviks were dependent on the votes of the petty bourgeoisie. 
The four Menshcvik deputies who were workers were also 
elected from the border provinces : Buryanov from the Taurida 
Ciuhcrnia (Crimea), Tulyakov from the Don region, Khaustov 
troin the Ufa Gubernia, and Mankov from the Irkutsk (jubt-rnia. 
The support of voters, politically indifferent, but who upheld a 
nationalist movement against the imperialist oppression of the 
government, contributed greatly to the success of these deputies. 

Mankov's election was actually achieved against tht- will ol the 


working-class voters. At the Irkutsk provincial electoral meeting, 
only twelve out of the twenty electors took part. The remaining 
eight were " disqualified," and no new elections were held to 
replace them. This electoral trick prevented the Irkutsk workers 
from electing their candidate and unexpectedly Mankov was 
successful, although his Liquidationist views had been rejected by 
the workers. Simultaneously with the arrival of Mankov in St. 
Petersburg, the fraction received a protest from the Irkutsk 
workers against his election. At one time there was a question of 
Mankov 's resignation, and an annulment of the Irkutsk elections 
was demanded. At first even the Mensheviks wavered on the 
question whether Mankov, with such " testimonials," should be 
admitted into the Social-Democratic fraction. 

The election of the Warsaw deputy, Jagello, who supported the 
Mensheviks, was still more irregular. Jagello was a member of 
the Polish Socialist Party in w^hich petty bourgeois, nationalist 
tendencies were predominant. The Bund"^ made an (election 
alliance with this Party against the Social-Democrats. This fact 
* alone revealed the Bund as a secessionist organisation which had 
transgressed the decisions and directions of the Party, since the 
Party had categorically refused to admit the Polish Socialist Party 
into its ranks. The Social-Democrats obtained a majority at the 
elections, and of the three workers' electors, two, Bronovski and 
Zalevski, were Social-Democrats. Jagello, the candidate of the 
hloc, was the third, and could only be considered as the candidate 
of a minority of the workers. The representatives of the Jewish 
bourgeoisie, since they did not venture to put up a candidate of 
their own, voted for this representative of the minority to ensure 
that a Polish nationalist with anti-Semitic tendencies should not 
be elected. Thus Jagello was elected by a bloc, consisting of the 
Polish Socialist Party, the Bund, and the Jewish bourgeoisie, 
directed against the majority of the Warsaw workers who had 
supported the Polish Social-Democratic Party. 

In spite of the fact that Jagello declared that he Would accept 
all the decisions of the Social-Democratic fraction, we strongly 
objected to his being admitte^>. The Bolsheviks did not wish to 
appear to sanction the secessionist step taken by the Bund. At 
most we were willing to accept him as an affiliated member of the 
fraction just as the Lithuanian Social-Democrats, who at that 
time were not members of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour 
Party, had been accepted in the Second Duma. 

The Mensheviks, however, received Jagello as an ally who could 
give them an extra vote in their struggle against the Bolshevik 

^ The Jewish Social-Democratic League (Menshevik) — Ed, 

rin- FOURTH 81. ATE Dl'MA 31 

wing of the fraction. They wanted to include him unreservedly 
as a member of the fraction with the same rights as the other 
deputies. .We protested resolutely against such an utter contempt 
of Part\' decisions, and, after a long and stubborn struggle, we 
forced the Mensheviks to give way. This w^as one of the first 
issues on which the two factions fought. Jagello was admitted 
into the Social-Democratic fraction as a member with limited 
rights. He exercised a vote on questions of Duma activity and 
had the right to advise, but not to vote, on questions of the internal 
life of the Party. Comrade Stalin referred as follow's to this 
decision in an article in Pravda : 

The decision of the Social-Democratic fraction is an attempt to 
discover something in the nature of a compromise. Whether the 
fraction has found the way to peace remains to be seen. In any case 
it is obvious that the Bund did not obtain a sanction for its seces- 
sionist step, though it tried hard to get it. 

Subsequent development showed that Stalin's sceptical view- 
on the possibility of a reconciliation between the Bolsheviks and the 
Mensheviks in the fraction was fully justified. The Bolshevik 
worker deputies were determined to carry out the will of the 
workers who had sent them to the Duma and they waged a 
constant struggle against the Liquidators. 

All our Bolshevik " six " were workers who came to the State 
Duma from the very heart of the working class. Each of us from 
early childhood had experienced personally all the " charms " of 
the capitalist regime. For all of us the oppression of the tsarist 
government and the ruthless exploitation of the working classes by 
the bourgeoisie and its henchmen were far from being abstract 
theories — we had experienced them ourselves. 

The working class, after enormous difficulties, after many 
losses and cruel defeats, had obtained the right to send its rep- 
resentatives to the State Duma. By our struggle against the 
existing regime conducted in the very jaws of the enemy, we had 
to justify the enormous losses sufiTered by the Russian workers. 
The consciousness of this great and responsible task still further 
increased the revolutionary energy and strengthened the will of 
the workers' deputies, when they were fighting both the open 
enemies of the pnjletariat and those hidden enemies who attempted 
to h(ild hack the revolutionary movement. 

-Four metal workers and two textile workers formed the Bolshe- 
vik " six " in the Fourth Duma. Petrovsky, Muranov, Malinevsky, 
and I were metal workers, Shagov and Samoylov were textile 
workers. The Bolshevik deputies were elected in the biggest 
industrial areas of Russia : (i. I. Petrovsky was deputy for the 


Yekaterinoslav Gubernia, M, K. Muranov for Kharkov Gubernia, 
N. R, Shagov for the Kostroma Gubernia, F. N. Samoylov for the 
Vladimir Gubernia, R. V. MaUnovsky for the Moscow Gubernia, 
and myself for St. Petersburg. 

But in fact the workers' deputies did not represent only those 
regions which had elected them, for as soon as our election became 
known, we received letters, declarations, and resolutions from 
workers of various regions entrusting us with the representation 
of their interests. I quote as an example a letter which! received 
in the' beginning of November, 1912 : 

Dear Comrade, you know from the newspapers the sad result 
of the elections in the Kursk Gubernia. Owing to the electoral law 
of June 3, the Markovists, the worst enemies of the workers, were 
elected to the Duma. Thus the vital interests of the proletariat are 
left undefended. Therefore, we, a group of Kursk delegates, 
charge you, the chosen representative of the St. Petersburg workers, 
and the other members of the Social- Democratic fraction in the 
Fourth Duma, with the defence of the interests of our constituents 
and we endorse the instructions given to you by the proletariat of 
St. Petersburg. With fraternal greetings. The delegates of the 
Kursk Gubernia. 

The Dvinsk workers wrote as follows : 

Only Black Hundreds were elected from the Vitebsk "Gffbernia. 
Not a single representative of the working class was able to enter the 
Taurida Palace through the barrier erected by the law of June 3 . 
We, the progressive workers of Dvinsk, send to the Social-Democratic 
fraction as a whole our warm fraternal greetings and request it to 
assume the defence of the interests of democracy in the Gubernia of 

Despite the police and the persecution to which anyone cor- 
responding with the Bolshevik deputies was exposed, workers 
from all corners of Russia sent us their instructions, greetings, and 
promises of support. 

Expressing their desire to keep in touch with the deputies, the 
workers at the same time invited their deputies to maintain close 
contact with the proletariat of St. Petersburg, which was ever the 
advance guard of the revolutionary movement. The following 
clause was included in the instructions sent to Muranov by the 
workers of the Kharkov locomotive sheds and by the Social- 
Democratic city, factory, and railway groups : 

In any acute political situation the deputy is bound to consult the 
workers who elected him to the State Duma and also to establish 
the closest relations with the St. Petersburg proletariat. 

Similar instructions were received bv the other workers' 


■deputies. The support of the St. Petersburg workers was of great 
importance to the Bolshevik deputies. When speaking from the 
Duma rostrum, the Bolsheviks, accusing and exposing the govem- 
inent, always felt sure that there, outside the walls of the Taurida 
Palace, they would find support among the St. Petersburg 
Avorkers, who, by their strikes and demonstrations, rendered the 
impression made by the Duma speeches many times more 
effective. Workers from the other regions of Russia quickly 
followed this lead, but the first onslaught was always carried out 
by the strong, picked ranks of the St. Petersburg workers. 

Pravda expressed the spirit of the St. Petersburg workers when 
it welcomed the beginning of our Duma work in the following 
terms : 

The editors of Pravda welcome the Social-Democratic fraction of 
the Fourth Duma and wish it success in its difficult and responsible 
duty of steadfastly and consistently defending the interests of the 
proletariat and of democracy as a whole. 

Pravda also published the following greeting from a group of 
St. Petersburg workers : 

In the Fourth Duma a few benches, a small sector of the semicircle 
of the Duma, are occupied by deputies who really represent 
the people and whose hearts beat in unison with the hearts of the 
Russian workers and peasants. These are the workers' deputies, the 
Social-Democratic fraction. 

All these messages assured us that we entered the Duma 
.nipported, not only by the hundreds of thousands of workers who taken an active part in the elections, but by the whole of the 
Russian proletariat. This strong and intimate connection with the 
masses, which became stronger as time went on, was of immense 
assistance to us in our extremely complicated and difficult Duma 

The difficulties of work in the Duma were mitigated in the case 
of the Mensheviks by the fact that they possessed more people 
acquainted with such tasks. The Menshevik leader Chkhcidze 
had for five years been the chairman of the Social-Democratic 
fraction in the Third State Duma. During this period he had 
gathered considerable experience and had learned how to man- 
(tuvre through the complex maze of Duma rules of procedure. 
The habit of speaking from the Duma rostrum was also important, 
as was too the knowledge of special methods by which one could 
withstand the pressure exercised by the chairman and defeat the 
attacks ui the Black Hundred majority. 

So-called experts assisted all Duma fractions in their work. 
They were partisans and sympathisers of the parties repre^inti.I 


in the Duma. With their aid, the necessary material for speeches 
was collected, bills drafted, interpellations framed, and the 
texts of speeches discussed and approved. Such experts were of 
special importance for the Social-Democratic fraction because 
our Party was illegal. 

The work of the Social-Democratic deputies was assisted by 
Party publicists and journalists as well as by those members who 
possessed the necessary training (lawyers and economists, etc.). 
They included both Bolsheviks and Mensheviks. The Mensheviks, 
however, were considerably more numerous because the Bolshe- 
viks, more formidable enemies of the tsarist government, suffered 
much more from the persecutions of the secret police. The Men- 
sheviks enjoyed a relatively larger degree of legal facilities and a 
number of their prominent members lived comparatively undis- 
turbed and for long periods in St. Petersburg, engaged on literary 
and social work. Such Menshevik leaders as Dan, Potresov, and 
Yezhov, for example, lived legally. 

Quite a different state of things prevailed among the Bolsheviks. 
At various periods. Comrades Stalin, Sverdlov,' Kamenev, 
Olminsky, Molotov, Krestinsky, Krylenko, Quiring, Concordia 
Samoylova and other leading Party workers took part in the 
work of the fraction. But they appeared in St. Petersburg illegally 
and for short, periods only, between an escape from exile and a 
new arrest. 

Chapter IV 


Strike on the Opening Day of the Duma— The Mensheviks and the 
Bolsheviks on the Strike — The First Sitting of the Fourth Duma — 
The Social-Democratic Fraction and the Election of the Duma 
Presidium — The Government Declaration — The Reply of the Social- 
Democrats — The " omissions " of Malinovsky 

A WAVE of strikes accompanied the beginning of the work of the 
new State Duma. The working class had fully grasped the 
importance of the strike weapon and made extensive use of it in 
the struggles against the tsarist government and the bourgeoisie. 

Immediately before the opening of the Duma, which had been 
fixed for November 15, 1912, a meeting was held in St. Peters- 
burg to protest against the death sentences which had been passed 
on a number of sailors of the Black Sea fleet. A naval court 
martial in Sebastopol had condemned seventeen sailors to death 
and 106 to penal servitude for conspiring to prepare a revolt. 
In reply, mass strikes were organised, which quickly spread 
from St. Petersburg to other regions of Russia. Within a week 
more than 60,000 workers, i.e. about one-fourth of the St. Peters- 
burg workers, took part in one-day strikes. In the whole of 
Russia about a quarter of a million men participated in this pro- 
test strike. At some of the St. Petersburg works demonstrations 
were organised and the workers marched through the streets 
carrying red Hags and singing revolutionary songs. 

The strike movement called forth by the naval court-martial 
sentence continued until the opening of the Duma and was then 
transformed into a political strike, timed to coincide with the first 
sitting of the Duma. This latter strike was declared as a protest 
against the law of June 3 and the reactionary Duma, and as a 
demonstration in support of the Social-Democratic deputies. At 
the same time the strikers protested once more against the death 
sentence passed on the sailors and against the brutal treatment of 
political prisoners in the Algaciiinsky and Kutomarsky prisons. 

The strikes and demonstrations were organised by three groups 
of St. Petersburg Social-Democrats. The proclamation issued 
three days before the Duma opened bore the following signatures : 
*' The St. Petersburg central Social-Democratic group of trade 



union organisers," " A group of Social-Democrats," " A group 
of revolutionary Social-Democrats." Neither the Bolshevik St. 
Petersburg Committee nor the Organising Bureau of the Men- 
sheviks had anything to do with the publication of the proclama- 
tion or the organisation of the strike. The initiators of the strike 
did not even notify their appeal to the Party committees or the 
editors of the two papers {Pravda and Liich) or our Duma fraction, 
which had already been in existence for two weeks. 

Such guerrilla action by separate groups, taking the initiative 
into their own hands, was the result of inadequate organisation of 
the revolutionary movement. But it can also be partly accounted 
for by the difficulty of establishing relations with the leading Party 
committees, which were continually persecuted and hunted by the 
secret police and which therefore had to keep their whereabouts 
very secret. 

These circumstances determined the character of such actions : 
they all lacked a clearly defined and firm Party line. Their usual 
slogans were " non-factional spirit " and " unity " and they 
possessed that vagueness and indefiniteness which was later 
characteristic of the future mezhraiontsi.^ 

Both Bolshevik and Menshevik slogans appeared in the pro- 
clamation issued by these groups. It called for " the confiscation 
of landlords' estates," " freedom of association," " genuine 
representation of the people " and " a struggle for a democratic 
republic," etc. It was distributed at the factories three days 
previous to Novem.ber 15, and at the same time the organisers 
of the strike carried on oral agitation among the workers. Thus 
both our fraction and the St. Petersburg Party centres were con- 
fronted with an accomplished fact. 

A conference was at once called, attended by the Bolshevik and 
Menshevik deputies, who by that time had arrived in St. Peters- 
burg, and representatives of the St. Petersburg Committee, the 
Menshevik Committee, and the editorial boards of both papers, 
Pravda and Ltich. The Mensheviks were completely .opposed to 
both the strike and the demonstration, which they regarded as 
a waste of forces, and they considered that i! was necessary to 
check the proposed action. " The strike fever," " incitement to 
rioting," such were the terms applied by the Liquidators to the 
ever more frequent strikes and the militancy of the working 
class. We Bolsheviks regarded this attitude towards the pro- 
posed strike as inadmissible. Although the strike had been 

^ Members of the so-called " Inter-diaj.iict Organisation of United Social- 
Democrats," which originated some tim^efore the war, and embraced some 
" non-fraction " Social-Democrats. It led a separate existence up to the 
summer of 1917, when it joined the Party. — Ed. 


prepared in an unorganised way, and not as it should have been 
prepared, nevertheless, since the appeal to strike had evoked 
sympathetic response from the workers, we regarded it as wrong 
to oppose their action. 

At the instance of the Menshevik majority, however, a communi- 
cation was issued in the name of the fraction to the effect that, 
according to the information of the fraction, the proclamation 
distributed at the factories " does not emanate from any of the 
authoritative St. Petersburg Social-Democratic groups." 

The Liquidators were not satisfied with this declaration and 
started in Litch a campaign for smashing the strike, contemptibly 
insinuating that " the appeal to strike is an attempt made by 
unknown persons to abuse the enthusiasm of the workers," that 
" this renders its origin very suspicious," etc. However, although 
they were unable to paralyse or to frustrate the strike altogether, 
they succeeded in considerably hampering its development. 

The behaviour of the Mensheviks aroused violent protests from 
the groups which had organised the strike. This made the position 
of the Bolshevik section of the fraction very difficult. But while 
the unorganised character of the strike, its precipitate and incorrect 
preparation made it difficult for the Bolshevik deputies to define 
their attitude, the Liquidators cleverly took advantage of the 
situation and conducted their anti-strike campaign. It was 
necessary to clarify the position and to ascertain all the circum- 
stances of the case. The question was first discussed in the St. 
Petersburg Committee, which then made a report to the fraction, 
insisting on the necessity of investigating the case jointly with 
representatives from those groups which had declared the strike. 
For this purpose the fraction set up a commission in which Skobe- 
lev represented the Mensheviks, and I the Bolsheviks. Late 
at night, on the premises of a printing-shop, w^e held a meeting 
with the groups' representatives and with members of the St. 
Petersburg Committee. AH the circumstances concerning the 
declaration of the strike and the publication of the proclamations 
were examined (it transpired, in particular, that most of the strike 
organisers were Bolsheviks). The results of these negotiations 
were reported to a meeting of the fraction. Finally the conflict 
was settled and the Mensheviks had to acknowledge that their 
course of action had been incorrect. 

According to the estimate of the secret police, about 30,000 St. 
Petersburg workers took part in the one-day strike on November 
15, 'I'hc secret police report to the director of the police depart- 
ment describes the events which took place in the streets of St. 
Petersburg on that day in the following words : 


" From 1 1 a.m., small groups of workers were noticed moving along 
the sidewalks in the neighbourhood of the Taurida Palace, and at 
about 3 p.m. a number of university students and intellectuals 
appeared at the same place. For a long time the crowd walked round 
the Taurida gardens, but the police prevented them from gathering 
together and they gradually dispersed. 

" At about 3.30 p.m. a crowd formed of these workers and students 
appeared in Kirochnaya Street. Singing revolutionary songs, and 
carrying a red flag, about the size of a handkerchief, bearing the 
legend " Down with Autocracy," they came out to Liteyny Prospect 
and went towards Nevsky Prospect. At the corner of Liteyny Prospect 
and Basseynaya and Simeonovskaya Streets, the ordinary police 
dispersed the demonstrators, picked up the flag from the sidewalk 
where the crowd had gathered and arrested the flag-bearer. 

" At 3 p.m., a similar crowd of about 100 people from among those 
who were near the Taurida Palace walked from the other end of 
Kirochnaya Street, without any demonstrations, along the Surorov 
Prospect towards the Nevsky Prospect. At the corner of the Sixth 
Rozhdestvenskaya Street they were dispersed by the police. 

" Then, also at 3 p.m. in Ligovskaya Street near Znamenskaya 
Square, a small crowd of workers assembled and tried to proceed 
along the right side of Ligovskaya Street towards the Obvodny canal, 
but this crowd was soon broken up by the police. About 15 to 20 
people, apparently a remnant of this crowd, came up to the candy 
factory of Bligken and Robinson, which is situated at No. 52 
Ligovskaya Street, -and forced their way through the gateway, 
guarded by a watchman, into the courtyard of the factory. They 
intended to enter the factory in order to induce the workers there to 
leave work, but a police patrol arrived in time to prevent them reali- 
sing this intention. Some of the participants in these disorders 
managed to climb over the hedge and conceal themselves on the rail- 
way lines of the Nikolaievskaya Railway, but seven were arrested 
and will be prosecuted in accordance with the regulations in 

The vv^ell-informed secret police, however, somewhat toned down 
the events in its report. For example, it failed to report that 
one of the demonstrations was dispersed by the police with drawn 
swords ; that those workers who entered the courtyard of the 
Bligken and Robinson factory did not get there of their own 
free will, but were driven there by the police, who attacked them 
savagely with poles and iron bars ; also no information is given 
of other clashes with the demonstrators. 

During the demonstration several people were arrested, in- 
cluding a number of trade union organisers, and the searches and 
arrests continued even on the eve of the opening of the Duma. 
The police were particularly anxious to find Bolsheviks and ignored 
the Mensheviks. After a search, Comrade Baturin (N. Zmayatin) 


was arrested, but Comrade Molotov, who was specially hunted 
for by the police, managed to escape. 

Thus, the Fourth State Duma opened in an environment 
typical of the tsarist regime. The workers came to welcome their 
deputies and the police greeted the workers with the usual crop 
of searches, arrests and beatings-up. 

While the police in the streets of St. Petersburg were demon- 
strating to the workers the Russian constitution " in actual 
practice,',' the Duma was solemnly and ceremoniously opened 
within the walls of the Taurida Palace. After a number of prayers 
had been recited, the aged tsarist Secretary of State, Golubev, 
read the " all-highest ukase,'' greeted by a loud hurrah from the 
people's representatives. In order to remind the opposition that, 
€ven if it was admitted to the Duma, it must be silent and otter 
no obstruction, Golubev refused to allow the Social-Democrats 
and the Trudoviks to speak and explain their reasons for refusing 
to take part in the election of a chairman. The first sitting was 
wound up by the speech of the chairman-elect, M. K. Rodzyanko, 
who, in a stentorian voice, swore that " the Duma was steadfastly 
and firmly devoted to its crowned head." The Fourth State 
Duma had begun its work. 

The 442 deputies in the Duma were divided among the following 
parties : 65 Rights, 120 Nationalists and moderate Rights, 98 
Octobrists, 48 Progressives, 59 Cadets, 21 National Groups 
(Poles, White Russians, Mohammedans), 10 Trudoviks, 14 Social- 
Democrats and 7 Independents. The electoral system, established 
by the law of June 3, had naturally given a majority to the 
landlords and nobles, bitter enemies of the working class and the 
peasantry. The Black Hundred Duma, though it was divided 
into various parties and groups, was in reality a reliable bulwark 
of tsarism. While Purishkevich, Markov and other " diehards " 
expressed their devotion to the existing regime by loud hurrahs, 
Milyukov, not to mention the Octobrists, only covered up that 
devotion by liberal phrases, 'i'he Octobrist-Cadet opposition was 
a sham ; at the least scolding by tsarist ministers they immediately 
forgot their grandiloquent words and revealed their counter- 
revolutionary character. 

The Cadets displayed their true sympathies at the opening 
sitting by voting for the Octobrist, Rodzyanko, as chairman of 
the Duma. Rodzyanko, gentleman-in-waiting at the Imperial 
Court and a big landowner in the Vekaterinoslav (jubernia, 
possessed a stentorian voice, was very tall and had a commanding 
presence. !VIoreovcr, the new chairman had other qualities ; he 
had gained the reputation of being a faithful servant of the tsar 


and had proved his mettle in the preceding Duma, where he had 
dealt very efficiently with the deputies of the Left, whom he- 
gagged and persecuted in every way. 

While supporting the candidature of Rodzyanko, the Cadets 
tried to persuade the Trudoviks and our Social-Democratic 
fraction to participate in the election of the chairman. The 
Trudoviks wavered at first and their leader, Dzyubinsky, even 
opened negotiations on this matter. Finally, however, they over- 
came the vacillations and waverings so typical of the representa- 
tives of the lower middle-class and refused to take part in the 
election of the Duma Presidium. 

For our fraction, the question of taking part in the election of 
the Duma Presidium was perfectly clear. We categorically 
rejected the ofi^er of the Cadets. It was absolutely immaterial to 
us who was the chairman of the Duma. Participation in the elec- 
tion of the chairman would have meant assuming a certain degree 
of responsibility for the work of the Duma majority, which, as wa& 
. perfectly well known, was hostile to the working class. The 
principle underlying our attitude towards Duma work was 
emphasised by our fraction in a declaration handed in at the 
opening of the Duma which, as I stated above, the Secretary of 
State, Golubev, would not allow us to read. This declaration 
ran as follows : 

The chairman has always to carry out the will and desire of the 
State Duma. It is obvious, therefore, that whoever takes part 
in the election of the chairman, thereby assumes responsibility for 
the activity of the Duma. For this reason, the Social- Democratic 
fraction in the preceding Duma abstained during the election of the 
chairman, refusing to be associated with the Third Duma, the Duma 
of the coup d'etat, the Duma of the master classes, the Duma called 
upon to struggle against all the essential interests of the people. Wc 
know that the chairman of such a Duma would systematically attack 
members of the Social-Democratic fraction, whenever the latter 
spoke from the Duma rostrum in defence of the interests of the 
masses. We can boldly assert that the Social-Democratic fraction 
emerged victorious from that struggle ; in spite of all efforts their 
voice was not silenced but was heard by the workers. We are sure 
that we shall be equally successful in the Fourth Duma, whether the 
chairman be elected from the moderate Khvostovists or the rabid 
Markovists, from the once moderate and now less moderate Right of 
the Gololobovists or from the former supporters of Gutchkov.^ Despite 
all combinations and schemes, we shall say what we intend and 
shall not forget for a moment that the place we occupy has been 
obtained at the price of the blood of the people. We shall maintain 

^ Khvostov, Markov and Gololobov were Rights and Nationalists. Gutchkov 
was the leader of the Octobrists. 


here freedom of speech in spite of the recent judicial decision of the 
Senate rendering members Hable to prosecution for speeches 
delivered in the Duma. We shall not allow our rights to express our 
views freely to be curtailed, although the Duma majority consists of 
the nominees of the Sablers, Makarovs, etc.^ 

You are welcome to choose a chairman acceptable to the majority ; 
we shall use the rostrum in the interests of the people. 

By our refusal to participate in the election of the chairman we 
demonstrated, on the first day of the Fourth Duma, that there 
could be no question of " parliamentary " work for us, that the 
working class only used the Duma for the greater consolidation 
and strengthening of the revolutionary struggle in the country. 
A similar attitude determined the nature of our relations with the 
Duma majority. No joint work, but a sustained struggle against 
the Rights, the Octobrists and the Cadets, and their exposure in 
the eyes of the workers ; this was the task of the workers' deputies 
in the Duma of landlords and nobles. 

Despite their failure on the question of the chairman, within the 
next few days the Cadets made another attempt to draw the Social- 
Democratic fraction into some agreement. They invited our 
fraction to a joint meeting of the " united opposition " to discuss 
certain bills which were being drafted by the Cadet fraction. In 
reply to this invitation the Social-Democratic fraction passed a 
resolution stating that they would undertake no joint work with 
the Cadets, that the Cadets were essentially counter-revolutionary 
and that no friendly relations were possible betw'een them and the 
party of the working class. During the election campaign, our 
fraction declared, the Social-Democrats fought the party of the 
liberal bourgeoisie and the same policy would be followed in the 
Duma itself. Pravda commented on this resolution as follows : 
" We welcome this decision of the Social-Democratic fraction ; 
it is the only correct one and reflects the will of Social-Democrats 
outside the Duma." 

The only fraction with which the Social Democrats maintained 
more or less close relations was that of the Trudoviks. Notwith- 
standing its " Left " tendencies, this group was very unstable and 
vacillated from the Social- Democrats on the one side to the Cadets 
and Progressives on the other. Precisely for this reason we thought 
it necessary to establish closer relations with the Trudoviks in 
order to win them over from the Cadets and bring tiicin more 
-under our own influence. We arranged joint meetings with them 
for the purpose of discussing various aspects of Duma work, and 

• V. K. Sablcr was the chief procurator of the Synoil and head of the State 
ecclesiastical department. A. A. Makaiov was Minister of the Interior. 


sometimes we visited their fraction meetings and invited them to 
attend ours. 

The government declaration of policy read in the Duma a few 
days after its opening, presented all the Duma fractions with an 
opportunity to declare their policies. The debate which follows 
the announcement of the government's policy is considered 
most important in all parliaments. These are the " great days " 
of parliamentary life, when the parties do not deal with individual 
bills, but formulate their criticism or approval of the government's 
policy as a whole. On the basis of their statements in this debate 
■on general policy, the electorate can judge the entire activities 
of the parliamentary parties. Consequently the contributions of the 
various parties to these debates are carefully prepared beforehand. 

The government declaration in the Fourth Duma was read by 
Kokovtsev, the president of the Council of Ministers, on Decem- 
ber 5, 191 2. The ministerial box was full. The parade was 
completed by the full attendance of the Duma presidium, big 
crowds in the public boxes and galleries and the presence of 
foreign ambassadors with their suites, etc. 

Kokovtsev started by praising the Third Duma v/hich, in five 
years, had passed 2,500 laws of various kinds. This praiseworthy 
behaviour of the preceding Duma was held up as an example to 
the Fourth Duma, from which the government obviously expected 
a similar aptitude for the legislative farce. Then the president of 
the Council of Ministers proceeded to enumerate the reforms by 
which the government proposed to render the country happy and 
prosperous. In all spheres of administration the government 
promised to carry out " important measures of reorganisation " : 
strengthening and improving the police administration, as a 
contribution towards the improvement of local government ; 
fewer passport formalities, and the introduction of a stricter law 
concerning the press in the sphere of guaranteeing the " inviola- 
bility of the person " ; assistance and material support for the 
church parish-schools and more careful school inspection, as far 
as popular education was concerned, etc. Kokovtsev concluded 
his speech by appealing to the Duma to discuss bills submitted 
to it " without party prejudice, all agreeing to work in harmony 
for the welfare of the fatherland, equally dear to us all." Trans- 
lated into plain language this meant that the Duma was invited to 
accept all the proposals of the tsarist government and not to hinder 
it in any way. 

The debate on the government's declaration began on Decem- 
ber 7 and continued throughout several sittings. Our reply 
was read on the first day. 


The Social-Democratic fraction had spent a great deal of time 
in framing its statement, having begun on this work as soon as 
the fraction was formed, before the Duma opened. It was a 
ver\" important and responsible task because the statement had 
to explain the fundamental demands of the working class and 
to expound the programme of the vanguard of the workers — 
the Social-Democratic Party. It was quite natural that during the 
discussion of the draft reply, clashes should occur between the 
Menshevik and Bolshevik sections of the fraction. The fraction 
acted in the name of the Party as a whole, but the contradictions 
in the programmes of the two sections were very acute. Under 
such conditions the framing of a united declaration of the fraction 
presented enormous difficulties and led to intense struggles 
between our Bolshevik group and the Alenshevik deputies. 

During the discussion the Bolshevik section of the fraction 
held firmly to the decisions of the Prague Conference which had 
defined the three " unabridged " demands of the working class 
(an eight-hour day, confiscation of landlords' estates, and a 
democratic republic). The Mensheviks, on the other hand, stood 
on the platform of the " August bloc " with its programme of 
freedom of working men's associations under the autocracy, 
cultural autonomy for the national minorities, etc. 

We resolutely opposed the Mensheviks and insisted on including 
the Bolshevik- demands in the declaration. Disputes arose not 
only over the main points, but over every phrase, every expression. 
In fact, two separate drafts were discussed and were finally 
merged into one text. In addition to the deputies. Party leaders 
of both sections took part in the drafting of the statement. Com- 
rade Stalin, representing the Bolshevik Central Committee, was 
very active in pressing for the inclusion of our three demands, 
while the Mensheviks mobiHsed Levitsky, Lezhnov and Mayevsky 
and many other pubHcists of Luch. After a long and stubborn 
struggle, we contrived at fast to have all the basic demands of the 
Bolsheviks included in the declaration. 

On the initiative of the Mensheviks, Malinovsky, the vice- 
chairman of the fraction, was appointed to read the declaration. 
This was a tactical move on the part of the Mensheviks, who 
thought that, in return for allowing a Bolshevik to reatl the 
declaration, the text (jt which iiad been decided in detail before- 
hand, they w(juld be more than compensated in some other 

The declaration as read by Malinovsky did not completely 
correspond with the text as framed by the fraction. Although he 
was reading the written statement, Malinovskv omitteil a jiassagc 


of considerable length criticising the State Duma and demanding 
the sovereignty of the people. 

When questioned with regard to this, Malinovsky replied that 
he himself did not know how it had occurred, that he failed ta 
understand how he had omitted one of the most important points 
of the declaration. We accounted for it by the great agitation 
experienced by Malinovsky in making his first speech in the Duma. 
It appeared that he had felt the antagonistic atmosphere of the 
Duma and had been affected by the conduct of the chairman and 
the hostile shouting of the Rights. This explanation seemed quite 
plausible to us then, the more so since we knew from our own' 
experience the difficulties of speaking for the first time in the 

The truth was learned subsequently when the role of Malinovsky 
as an agent-pro'vocateur was revealed and established by documen- 
tary proof. Then it was discovered that he had previously shown 
the declaration to Byeletsky, the director of the police department, 
who in his turn had informed Makarov, the Minister of the Interior. 
Malinovsky was asked to introduce a number of amendments in 
order to soften the tone of the declaration, but being afraid of 
arousing suspicions as to his true role, he refused and finally 
consented to omit the passage on the " people's sovereignty," 
about which the police were particularly concerned. 

While he was reading from the rostrum, Malinovsky took 
advantage of the fact that, just before he came to the passage in 
question, Rodzyanko uttered one of his usual reprimands. As if 
in a flurry, due to the chairman's reprimand, Malinovsky turned 
over the pages lying iii front of him and omitted the whole passage. 
Malinovsky had also been instructed by the police to behave in 
a most provocative way to the chairman so as to be cut short by 
the latter. Malinovsky, however, did not manage this and 
Rodzyanko failed to understand his signal when, in reply to 
repeated warnings by the chairman, he shouted " Well, stop me ! " 
The declaration, though with omissions, was read to the end. 

The speech was fully reported in Pravda, which was permitted 
by law to publish the stenographic reports of the Duma sittings. 
In this way the text of the declaration was widely circulated among 
the masses to whom it was, in fact, addressed. Thus the demands 
incorporated in the declaration, its criticism of the Black Hundred 
regime and of the tsarist government, assisted and intensified the 
struggle of the workers against tsarism. 

Chapter V 


The Sifi;nificance of Duma Tnterpellations — The Persecution of the 
Metal-Workers' Union — The First Interpellation of the Social- 
Democratic Fraction — My First Speech in the Duma — Speech in 
Support of " Urgency " — Strikes and Demonstrations in Support of 
the Interpellation — The Lock-out at Maxwell's Factory 

The workers' deputies found that interpellations addressed to the 
government from the Duma rostrum were a most useful means of 
agitation. By asking various questions we succeeded in con- 
centrating the attention of the masses on definite crimes committed 
hy the tsarist government. These interpellations, based on current 
events, enabled us to use the rostrum in a Bolshevik manner, i.e. 
to carry on an agitation, over the heads of the Black Hundred 
majority, among the working class for solidarity and determina- 
tion in the revolutionary onslaught on the existing regime. On 
these occasions the Bolsheviks trenchantly and straightforwardly 
exposed the Sores and rottenness of tsarism and the bourgeoisie. 
In connection with every event which served as the occasion for an 
interpellation, we showed the worker that there was no reason for 
him to expect any improvement in his conditions and that the 
only path for the proletariat was the path of revolution. 

" Is the minister aware of this and what steps does he propose 
to take ? " — this concluding sentence of every interpellation had 
no importance for the workers' deputies. We were perfectly aware 
that every instance of oppression and police outrage was well 
known to the tsarist ministers with whose blessing and by whose 
orders it occurred, and we knew in advance that the ministers 
would do nothing to prevent such infractions of the law. Neither 
did we attach any importance to the replies given by the ministers 
who, in the most flagrant cases, tried to hide the facts behind a 
hedge of fcjrmalities. For us, the significance and purpose of each 
interpellation was that we proclaimed to the entire working class 
the truth about the nature of the autocratic regime and enabled 
the masses to flraw the necessary conclusions. 

Since the interpellation became a powerful weapon in the hands 
of the Social-Democratic fraction, it was only natural that the 
government, assisted by its faithful Black Hundred Duma, should 



take all possible measures to blunt it. The procedure by which 
interpellations in the Duma were made was exceedingly compli- 
cated and enabled the majority consisting of landlords and 
nobles to delay or shelve any interpellation which it deemed 
undesirable or dangerous. 

The chief difficulty of our fraction was that an interpellation 
could only be introduced if it was signed by at least thirty-three 
Duma members. The signatures of our fourteen members, 
together with those of the ten Trudoviks, the party nearest to us 
in the Duma, did not give us the required number. We had to 
" borrow " signatures from the Cadets or the Progressives-. The 
conditions under which the various parliamentary parties associ- 
ated were such that individual members of the Cadets and 
Progressives sometimes added their signatures to our inter- 
pellations. But this only occurred rarely and very often they flatly 
refused to help us. 

Even when the signatures had been secured, the matter was 
by no means settled. It was necessary to insist that the question 
be brought up for discussion, and this was not in the interests of the 
Duma chairman, Rodzyanko, gentleman-in- waiting to his imperial 
majesty. One method of delaying an interpellation was to deny its 
urgency. Before deciding whether or not the question itself 
should be allowed, the Duma first discussed whether it should be 
treated as urgent. The Duma majority decided against nearly all 
the questions of the Social-Democratic fraction and turned them 
over to the " interpellation • commission " where they remained 
for several months. 

This was a regular method of shelving a question. It was 
reckoned that if it remained long enough in the commission the 
point in question would lose its actuality and therefore would not 
create the effect in the country which it had been calculated to 

However, we were able, during the debate on urgency, to achieve 
the purpose for which the question had been framed. Speeches 
made in this debate actually dealt with the substance of the ques- 
tion. Under the guise of advocating the urgency of the question, 
the Social-Democratic deputies exposed and denounced the 
existing regime. In this connection a constant struggle proceeded 
with the Duma chairman, who had received special instructions 
from the government to hinder in every possible way the speeches 
made by the Lefts. The chairman carefully followed our speeches, 
trying to anticipate and prevent all digressions from the formal 
topic of urgency ; while we, ignoring his calls to order, went 
ahead and said what we regarded as necessary. Most of these 


encounters ended in Rodzyanko or his vice-chairman losing 
patience and stopping the workers' deputies in the middle of 
their speeches. 

Unceremonious attempts to deprive the Social-Democrats of 
the right to make interpellations had also been frequently made 
by the Black Hundreds in the Third Duma. We had to expect 
a similar procedure in the Fourth Duma, but this was yet 
another reason why we should fight harder and more persistently 
to ensure that the voices of the workers' deputies should be heard 
as far as possible all over the country. Pravda wrote : 

We can predict with absolute certainty that, in the Fourth Duma, 
the Purishkeviches and the Khvostovs will try to prevent the inter- 
pellations of the workers' deputies. These gentry would like to gag 
all the real representatives of the people. We can foretell, however, 
with equal certainty, that now that the working class is awake and 
democracy is closing its ranks, the reactionary gentlemen will be less 
successful than ever in their efforts. 

In their demands drawn up during the election campaign, the 
workers had advocated the introduction of a number of interpella- 
tions. From the commencement of our Duma work, workers' 
resolutions began to stream into our fraction requesting that the 
government be questioned on various matters. They suggested 
that interpellations should be framed on the faking of the Duma 
elections, the persecution of trade unions, the treatment of political 
prisoners in Kutomarskaya, Algachinskaya and other prisons, the 
results of the inquir}'into the Lena goldfields shootings, the passing 
of the " insurance law," the case of the Social-Democratic 
deputies of the Second Duma, etc. 

Immediately after it was formed, the Social-Democratic 
fraction began to collect material for interpellations, and to 
prepare for their introduction. In order to introduce an inter- 
pellation it was necessary to word it in the correct legal language 
and make the appropriate references to the various laws and 
government regulations constituting the official grounds for the 
interpellation. In this legal side of tiie work we were assisted 
by N. Krestinsky, N. D. Sokolov, A. Yuriev and other social- 
democratic lawyers who were living in St. Petersburg. 

As soon as the opening formalities had been disposed of, sucii 
as the verification of credentials, the elections of the presidium, 
"the government's declaration of policy and the debate on it, our 
fraction introduced its first interpellation. This dealt with the 
persecution of trade unions. The formal ground on which it was 
based was the refusal to register a trade union in St. Petcrsburj;, 
but in reality it covered the position of trade unions in general. 


The formation and existence of trade unions was regulated by 
the law, or " provisional rules " as they were called, of March 4, 
1906, wliich dealt with all associations and societies. This law 
really provided not for the formation . of societies, but for their 
suppression. Trade unions were entirely at the mercy of any 
official, from the governor of the province or city down to the 
police inspector. But however much trade union rights were 
restricted legally, it was not enough for the authorities. The 
"' provisional rules " were not regarded as binding by the police, 
who violated them most unceremoniously. 

Unions were suppressed in rapid succession and on most 
incredible grounds. Immediately a trade union began to develop 
its work, it was suppressed. This persecution did not discourage 
the workers, but, on the contrary, led to an increase in the number 
of workers joining the unions. When a union was closed down, a 
new one was organised with the same membership and the same 
aims, but under another name. There were, however, a multitude 
of police obstacles to be overcome before a new society could be 
formed. The registration of unions was in the hands of the so- 
called " special boards " which rejected applications on the 
most absurd grounds. A union was never registered the first time 
it applied ; only after a series of refusals, and if the patience and 
persistency of the founders were superhuman, was the new union 
finally granted the right to exist, or rather the right to a quick 
death at the discretion of the police. 

According to the official statistics, 497 trade unions were 
suppressed and 604 were refused registration during the first 
five years (1906-11) after the law of March 4, 1906, came into 
force. In April 1908, the Social-Democratic fraction in the Third 
Duma introduced an interpellation dealing with the persecution 
of trade unions and quoting 144 cases of illegal suppressions of 
unions in various parts of Russia. The interpellation, of course, 
was not considered urgent and was turned over to a commission, 
from which it emerged a year later accompanied by a meaningless 
resolution which expressed the pious wish " that the Klinister for 
the Interior should take the necessary steps so that the authorities 
concerned observe the provisional rules of March 4, 1906." 

After 191 1, as the labour movement developed, there was a 
corresponding growth in trade union activity. The number of 
unions increased and police persecutions became more violent. 
During this period, the St. Petersburg union of metal workers, 
which played an important part in the progress of the labour 
movement, was subjected to particularly savage persecution. The 
metal workers' union was important, not only as an industrial 


organisation, but«principally as a centre for all the progressive, 
revolutionar}' workers and as an organisation around which the 
Party forces were concentrated. It therefore displayed exceptional 
vitality and naturally incurred specially virulent attacks from the 

This union was founded illegally during the 1905 revolution, 
and since 1906, when it was officially registered, it had survived 
several suppressions and resurrections under new names. Its 
name, which, was at hrst the " Union of metal workers," changed 
successively to " trade union of workers in the metal industry," 
" trade union of workers engaged in enterprises of the metallurgical 
industry," etc. Bach of these unions, although officially a new 
society, was, in fact, a continuation of the preceding one, from 
which it took over the union funds and membership. The police 
were well aware that this changing of names was a farce, but they 
could not take action against the union on this ground and were 
forced to wait for an appropriate moment to dissolve the " new " 

In March 191 2, the police made one of their periodical raids 
and the union was closed by the " special board " on several 
grounds, of which the principal w'ere the possession of illegal 
literature and the organisation of strikes, 'i'his time the police 
had planned to delay the registration of a new society as long as 
possible, hoping that, in the meantime, the organisatioH would 
collapse. But they were wrong in their calculations. To preserve 
the union, the committee had taken advantage of statutes they had 
in reserve of a society which they had succeeded in registering in 
1908, the registration still possessing legal force. Account books 
and membership books of this society, which never actually existed, 
were hastily fabricated and the liquidation meeting of the sup- 
pressed union decided to hand over all its property and funds 
to this society and recommended all its members to join it. 
In this way the metal workers' union continued for anotiier 
five months until, in the autumn of 191 2, after further police 
raids, it was again suppressed. The following three charges were 
officially made against the union : non-admittance of the police 
U) inspect documents, organisation of strikes and granting of 
relief to the unemployed. The " special board " asserted tliiit 
grants could only be made to union members and that only workers 
.;ictually employed in a particular industry could be members of the 
union. 'I'hus an unemployed worker ceased to be a member of the 
society. Tiiis ruling was a direct vicjlation of the union statutes, 
framed in accordance with the law, and it supplied the employers 
with a ver)' simple method of smashing the trade union organisa- 


tion whenever they decided to do so. It was enough to declare a 
lock-out, and then, since there were no members of the union 
working, the union would have to close down. 

The suppression of the society caused great indignation among 
the St. Petersburg workers, but in no way lessened their enthusi- 
asm for trade union work. The liquidation commission elected 
at the general meeting continued the work of the old committee 
and endeavoured to prolong the business of liquidation until a 
new union had been organised. The police, on the other hand, 
hampered the work of the commission as much as possible. Con- 
trary to all rules and law, they appeared at the meetings of the com- 
mission and finally prohibited it from meeting.* The members of 
the society lodged a protest, but this was filed at the city governor's 
office and its consideration indefinitely postponed. The complaint 
was lodged on November 2 ; after waiting a month members of 
the liquidation commission went to the governor's office to inquire 
whether they were allowed to meet. The reply was : " this will 
be communicated to you by the police." After another two 
weeks they applied again and received the same reply and so it 
went on. 

At the same time the police did everything they could to prevent 
the formation of a new society. The statutes of the new society 
were framed with due observance of all the requirements of the 
law, but this did not prevent the " special board " from refusing 
to register them. This decision of the " board," which was 
taken on October 6, but not communicated to the organisers 
until November 28, had no legal justification. It plainly revealed 
the real motive of the refusal — the fear that the union would again 
become the centre of the revolutionary struggle of the St. Peters- 
burg metal workers. 

The Social-Democratic fraction decided to use all these illegal 
proceedings, which plainly revealed the general policy of persecu- 
tion of trade union organisations, as material for a new inter- 
pellation of the government. Besides, the interpellation referred 
to a number of illegal requirements enforced on organisers of new 
societies : they were prohibited to include amongst the objects of 
the society any measures calculated to further the intellectual and 
cultural development of the members ; the right of unemployed 
members of the society to continue in membership was not 
admitted ; instead of monthly, yearly membership dues were to be 
introduced ; the societies were not permitted to expel members 
" found guilty of dishonourable behaviour by a court of comrades," 
they were required to name in the statutes a charitable organisa- 
tion to which the funds of the society were to be transferred in the 


event of its suppression, etc. These demands were very preju- 
dicial to the independence of the unions and altogether paralysed 
their activities. They were enumerated in the interpellation, 
which continued as follows : 

All the above demands were made by the " special board " not 
only on the metal workers' union, but on all trade unions which 
have recently submitted their statutes for registration. It is impossible 
to regard this action of the " board " as anything but a flagrantly illegal 
mtcrference with the internal life of trade unions and an open 
violation of the law of March 4, 1906. On this ground we address 
the following interpellation to the Ministers of the Interior and 
Justice : 

1. Is the Minister of the Interior aware that the St. Petersburg 
special city board refuses to register trade unions on grounds not 
provided in the law of March 4, 1906, and thereby violates this 

2. Is the Minister of Justice aware that a representative of the public 
prosecutor, although a witness to repeated violations of the law by 
the St. Petersburg city special beard, refrains from making any 
protest against these violations .'' 

3. If the Ministers of the Interior and Justice are aware of these 
facts, what measures have they taken to enforce the law ? 

It \yas arranged that the question should be discussed in the 
Duma on December 14, on the eve of the adjournment for 
the Christmas recess. I was charged by the fraction to speak on 
the interpellation. Under the guise of defending the urgency 
of the question, I was to deal with the subject-matter of the 
interpellation itself and, after exposing the illegal character of 
the persecution of trade unions, show that the masses could only 
achieve any improvement in their conditions through revolutionary 
struggle. Such was the usual content and trend of speeches 
delivered by the workers' deputies. 

This was to be my " maiden " speech in the Duma. To the 
reactionary majority of the latter our speeches were intolerable. 
The straightforwardness and hluntncss and sharpness of the 
workers' deputies made the Black Hundred " dichards " mad 
with rage. This was specially apparent when our speeches 
touched on the conditions of the St. Petersburg workers. The 
steady gnnvth of the revolutionary movement among the St. 
-Petersburg workers made itself felt even within the Taurida Palace 
and our appeal to the workers to intensify their attack was another 
reminder for the faithful defenders of tsarism that, sooner or 
later, the movement would sweep away that tsarist stronghold au*' 
all that it supported. 


To confuse and frighten a workers' deputy, to cut short his 
speech, such were the tactics of the Duma majority, especially 
on his first attempt to speak. The majority and the chairman, 
who carried out their will, strove to make the first speech of 
a workers' deputy his last ; they tried to make him lose his nerve 
and so remain voiceless, like so many members of the Duma 
majority who sat in the Taurida Palace throughout the v/hole 
of the Fourth Duma without once opening their mouths. They 
were so cowed by the Duma atmosphere that force would have 
been needed to drag them to the rostrum. 

The nervousness to which every workers' deputy was subject 
when making his first speech in the Duma was unique in his 
experience. When I mounted the rostrum I felt very keenly the 
responsibility which rested on a workers' representative. A.speech 
in the Duma did not resemble in any way those speeches which I 
had to deliver at various illegal and legal meetings of workers. 
Here, we, the representatives of the workers, stood face to face 
with the enemy, the age-long oppressors of the working class. We 
had to express directly and openly, without subterfuges or parlia- 
mentary tricks, all that the masses were thinking, to proclaim 
their needs and to hurl their accusations at the representatives 
of the existing regime. 

Every word spoken by a workers' deputy was listened to, not 
only in the Duma hall, but by the millions of the Russian prole- 
tarians, who regarded us as the defenders of their interests. Our 
speeches and appeals delivered in the Duma echoed the revolu- 
tionary sentiments of the workers and strengthened them in their 
struggle against their enemies. From the floor of the Duma we 
had to show the straining of the will of the working class, to 
demonstrate the force which the Russian proletariat had accumu- 
lated during long years. 

Each of us experienced great difficulty when making his 
first speech in this home of tsarist autocracy. It was a great 
strain to talk down the howling of the Black Hundreds, to fight 
against the continual interruptions of the chairman and, having 
described the political and economic enslavement of the working 
class, to challenge its oppressors. 

The immunity of deputies and " freedom of speech " in the 
Duma were only tsarist lies. It was perfectly plain to us that the 
government was merely waiting for a suitable pretext to deal 
summarily with the workers' deputies. The case of the Social - 
Democratic members of the Second Duma, who were sent to 
penal settlements in a body, was still fresh in our minds. " Some 
leave the Duma rostrum to become ministers, others, workers' 


deputies, to become convicts." These words of Lenin described 
ver\' exactly the possible fate of workers' deputies. But the greater 
the menace, the more difficulties we had to overcome, the more 
vigorous our speeches became. The persecutions suffered by the 
deputies had a radicalising etfect on the workers and stitiened 
them in the revolutionary struggle. 

At first my speech was listened to in rapt attention by the entire 
house. It was an evening sitting and the great hall of the Taurida 
Palace was flooded with light. The ministerial box was occupied 
by members of the government, another box next to the tribune 
was filled with representatives of the press. The public galleries 
were crowded. Wives of high officials peered at me through their 
lorgnettes anxious to see how a locksmith would behave himself 
and what he would say in the Duma. On the other side, holding 
their breath and trying to catch every word, a handful of workers, 
who had managed to obtain tickets, were listening to the speech of 
their deputy. 

The portly figure of Rodzyanko towered on the chairman's seat. 
He kept his bell ready and concentrated all his attention on my 
speech in order not to let slip any opportunity of interrupting me. 

I was not allowed to conclude my speech, which was cut down 
by the chairman as soon as I touched on the general conditions of 
the working class and the persecutions to which it was subject on 
the part of th.e government. 

Both sides of the house applauded as I left the rostrum ; it was 
genuine approval of my speech from the Left, whereas the Right 
and centre were congratulating Rodzyanko on keeping a workers' 
deputy in order. 

Our interpellation concerning the persecution of trade unions 
was of course voted down by the Black Hundred majority. The 
same fate befell the second interpellation of the Social-Democratic 
fraction. This dealt with the non-authorisation of meetings and 
the elections of the insurance commissions ; it was discussed at 
the same Duma sitting on December 14. In both cases the 
Duma rejected the motion for urgency and the interpellatibns were 
sent to the interpellation conunission, where they were shelved. 
The working class could expect no other decision from this Duma 
of landlords and nobles. The aim of our interpellations was to 
demonstrate and expose the real nature of the existing regime. 

This demonstration arranged by the Social-Democratic fraction 

-inside the Black Hundred Duma was supjiorted and Sftrengthened 

by the action of the St. Petersburg workers, who declared a one-day 

strike on the same day. While we were speaking from the Duma 

rostrum about the latest example of tsarist oppression, the woikers 


deserted the factories and works and, at hastily summoned 
meetings, carried resolutions of protest. 

The one-day strike on December 14 was well organised and 
prepared. Examples of the persecution of trade unions, such as 
the prohibition of meetings called to deal with insurance questions, 
appeared daily in Pravda ; the paper also dealt with the " appoint-' 
ment " of " workers' " representatives to the insurance commis- 
sions and with the actual working of the abortive government 
insurance law. These articles were so worded that, although the 
censor could not object to them, the advanced workers could 
read between the lines an appeal to organise demonstrations on the 
day that our interpellations vi^ere discussed in the Duma. Finally 
on December 13, the Bolsheviks, in a proclamation signed by the 
Central Committee of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour 
Party, appealed for strike action to support the Social-Democratic 

On the day that the proclamation was issued, meetings were held 
at a number of factories and resolutions were passed welcoming the 
Duma interpellations and promising support for the fraction. For 
example, the resolution passed at Pahl's factory stated : " By our 
strike we are supporting the interpellation of the Social-Demo- 
cratic fraction in the Fourth State Duma." All the resolutions 
contained a determined protest against the persecution of trade 
unions and against the police control of the insurance commissions. 
The appeal to strike action mst with an enthusiastic response, the 
workers of thirteen establishments immediately leaving work, and 
only insignificant groups, or rather individual workers, mainly 
women, remained at work. 

The strike did not end on December 14. The next morning 
other factories and works joined in, while those already out did not 
return. Factory after factory came out and in all the strike move- 
ment lasted for over a week. It is difficult to form a reliable esti- 
mate of the number of workers who participated, but it was 
certainly not fewer than 60,000, i.e. the number employed in the 
largest works in St. Petersburg. In addition, however, a number 
of small undertakings were involved : printing shops, repair shops, 
etc. This formidable protest strike of the St. Petersburg proletariat 
demonstrated the full solidarity of the masses with their deputies. 

The strike was accompanied not only by the usual police repres- 
sion, but also by a counter-offensive of the employers. The 3,000 
workers employed at the Petrovskaya and Spasskaya factories, 
owned by Maxwell, found the following notice posted on the 
closed gates on December 15, the day after the one-day strike: 
*' In view of the frequent strikes and the warning that has already 


been given to workers, the management is compelled to pay 
off all workers. The date when the paying-off will take place 
will be announced later." Large patrols of police officers and 
constables were stationed round the factories. The workers 
decided not to accept payment of their wages so as to delay 
the re-opening of the factory, as they knew that there were many 
orders to be fulfilled and that every idle day caused a great loss to 
the owners. During the first half of the day only a few foremen 
strike-breakers appeared to be paid and thereby ensured that 
they would be reinstated. After dinner the spirit of the workers 
gave way a little and a queue assembled before the office. The 
management were assisted throughout by the police, who shep- 
herded the workers into the office. Inside, the manager of the 
factory himself was in command, w^ith a list in his hand of all 
" rebellious elements." As the cashier paid off the workmen — in 
most cases they only drew fifty kopeks to one ruble, as provisions 
bought in the factor)' store were deducted from wages — the 
manager stamped the paybooks of those who were reinstated. 
Very many were refused. Trying to hit the " unreliables " as hard 
as possible, the management discharged whole families, husbands 
, and wives, fathers and daughters, brothers and sisters. 

This sifting of the workers, however, did not help the manage- 
ment much. On the following day, after a few hours' work, the 
reinstated workers all came out on strike demanding the re-en- 
gagement of the dismissed workers. The police attempt to prevent 
the workers from leaving the factory failed and the w'orkers 
dispersed, deriding and threatening the police. 

In spite of arrests and a series of repressive measures, such as the 
eviction of those discharged from the factory-owned apartments, 
the workers did not give in. The stubborn fight against victimisa- 
tion of the workers at Maxwell's factories gained the support of the 
rest of the St. Petersburg proletariat. At all factories and works 
collections were taken to relieve the victims of the lock-out and 
to support the strike. 

Our Duma fraction was the centre and organiser of these col- 
lections. Daily we received funds collected not only at St. Peters- 
burg factories, but also from the workers of other industrial 
centres (Moscow, Warsaw, Lodz, Riga, etc.). Pravda published a 
long list of factories and works at which collections were made. It 
demfmstrated that the working class regarded the fight at Max- 
well's factories not as an isolated phenomenon, but as a phase in 
the class war with the capitalists. 

The members of the Social-Democratic fraction, the workers' 
deputies, were in the thick of the fight. We were in constant com- 


munication with the strikers, helped to formulate their demands, 
handed over the funds collected, negotiated with various govern- 
mental authorities, etc. 

At both factories the strike lasted over a fortnight. In those 
days it was regarded as a very protracted strike and the workers 
were only able to hold out because of the moral and material 
assistance which they received from the whole of the St. Peters- 
burg workers. 



The " Six " and the Bolshevik Central Committee — The Questionnaire 
of Lenin — How Connections with the Central Committee were kept up 
— The Cracow Conference— The most important Decisions of the 
Conference — Lenin's Suggestions and Directions — The Journey of the 
Deputies to the Provinces — The Mood of the Workers in the Provinces 

The Social-Democratic fraction in tiie Fourth State Duma was 
an integral part of the Russian Social-Democratic Party. The 
fraction played an important part in the work of the Party, but it 
was only one of the Party organisations. Decisions and resolutions 
of Party congresses and conferences, bearing on the work of the 
Social-Democratic fractions in the previous Dumas, defined the 
fraction as an auxiliary organisation subordinated to the Party and 
to its Central Committee. This subordination within a strictly 
centralised system was the prerequisite of successful revolutionary 
work. Work in underground conditions was impossible unless we 
adopted this principle. It was only owing to such an organisa- 
tional structure that our Party was able to overcome the difficulties 
of the transition period between the two Russian revolutions. 

In the Menshevik camp this strict subordination" to the direc- 
tions of the centre was not recognised. In the preceding Dumas, 
the Menshevik members ignored and violated Party discipline, 
acting independently of the leading centres of the Party. They 
regarded tlie fraction as a super-party organisation and often set 
it in opposition to the Party centre. The same policy was followed 
by the Menshevik deputies in the Fourth Duma. 

The Bolshevik deputies, on the contrary, were bound by close 
and indissoluble tics to the leading Party organisations. The 
entire election campaign to the Fourth Duma had been conducted 
under the guidance oi and in accordance with the instructions of our 
Central Committee. From Cracow, where our Party headquarters 
abroad were Ujcated, thousands of threads stretched forth, uniting 
into a single web all our organisations engaged in the election 
campaign. In addition to issuing general instructrons, the Central 
•Committee played an active part in the selection of candidates at 
the workers' electoral colleges. Thus the Bolshevik deputies 
entered the Duma as the representatives not only of the hjcal 
organisations, but of the Party as a whole. 



The Duma elections and the entire activity of our " six " from 
its commencement were under the immediate guidance of Com- 
rade Lenin. During the course of the elections he followed with 
extreme care the spirit of the workers, the illegal election meetings, 
directed the election propaganda of Pravda, etc. In article after 
article in that newspaper, he appealed to the workers to vote for 
the Bolsheviks against the wire-pulling Liquidators. 

Immediately the elections were over and the workers' deputies 
had arrived in St. Petersburg, Lenin took up the question 
of the organisation of the fraction, interested himself in each 
individual deputy, summed up the results of the campaign, 
investigated the circumstances under which the elections had 
taken place and examined the instructions given to the deputies 
by the voters. 

A special questionnaire was sent out from Cracow to all deputies 
elected from workers' electoral colleges. Nineteen points of this 
questionnaire contained detailed questions on the course of the 
election campaign and on the deputies themselves. The question- 
naire dealt very fully with the degree of workers' participation in 
ihe elections, the causes of inadequate attendance at meetings, the 
prevalence of boycottist sentiments, the distribution of election 
literature, the methods of drawing up lists of candidates, the de- 
bates at meetings, the personnel of the delegates, the activity 
of other parties, repressive measures applied during the elections, 
etc. AH stages of the elections were covered, from the election 
of delegates to the election of deputies ; at the same time rela- 
tions with the electors of the other electoral colleges, especially 
the peasants, were investigated. Other questions dealt with 
various phases of Party work— the organisation of illegal meetings, 
the circulation of our newspaper and underground publications, 
the degrees of influence exercised by Bolsheviks and Liquidators 
and similar questions. 

Lenin requested every deputy not to confine himself to 
formal answers, but to give a coherent account of the campaign 
in his district and to describe everything that occurred at the 
elections. " These questions should in no way be discussed 
officially with the fraction — that would result only in red tape and 
squabbles ; the deputies should answer themselves and as quickly 
as possible," wrote Lenin. 

As the activity of the fraction developed the connection of our 
*' six " with the Central Committee and above all, with Lenin, 
became closer. Material, information, etc., was sent to Cracow, and 
from Cracow the Bolshevik deputies received literature, theses for 
speeches, instructions on separate questions which arose in the 


course of their work. These contacts were maintained through 
letters in code and through Party members who crossed the 
frontier illegally and by every other possible means. Every oppor- 
tunity was used and of course ever\^thing was done in strict 
secrecy. Names were never mentioned in correspondence ; 
instead numbers agreed on beforehand or nicknames were used. 
1 was referred to as Xo. i, Malinovsky as No. 3, Pctrovsky as 
No. 6, Samoylov as No. 7, Sverdlov was called Audrey, Stalin 
Vassily, etc. These nicknames and numbers were changed when- 
ever it was suspected that the secret police had guessed their 

As we can see now from the material in the archives, the secret 
police in its turn gave us nicknames which varied in different 

The " Black Cabinet " (a secret police department for opening 
and examining letters) at the General Post Office read all letters 
addressed to Social-Democratic deputies. Therefore we rarely 
used the post, or if we did we arranged for letters to be sent to 
other addresses. 

The secret police obtained their most important information 
from aoents-provocateurs . We were, of course, awaie that we were 
surrounded by spies, but it was difficult to discover them. There- 
fore the strictest secrecy was maintained and a system of con- 
spiracy pervaded everj^thing from the top to the bottom. 

Ever\' violation of the system of conspiracy was in itself a 
ground for suspicion, and made us wonder whether a police scheme 
was being hatched. I remember one characteristic case. Kiselyov, 
a Party member employed at the Putilov works, once sent me a 
letter by post referring to a question to be decided by the St. 
Petersburg Committee. The fact that the letter was sent in the 
ordinan,' way by post and without using any code aroused in me the 
suspicion that the author was connected with the secret police. I 
reported the matter to the St. Petersburg Committee and the 
fractiorL and it was decided to watch Kiselyov and to be careful in 
our relations with him. Subsequently our suspicions proved to 
be well-founded, f(jr Kiselyov turned out to be an ai^cut-proi'ucatciir . 

We were not always successful in detecting such police agents 
before harm was done, for they in their turn observed strict 
secrecy and were very cautious. Yet it can be said that, however 
well organised the tsarist police were and however well informed 
they may have been, our relations with Party organisations and, 
in particular, with the Central Committee were concealed by an 
efficient technicjue of conspiracy. 

Correspondence and communications through third persons did 


not, however, enable us to discuss details of our plan of work or to 
deal fully with questions of our activity both inside and outside 
the Duma. More direct contact was required to use the experience 
and to learn the opinions of the workers' deputies, around whom 
Party work within Russia was centred, the more so since the 
convocation of regular Party congresses in illegal conditions 
presented enormous difficulties. 

As I have already mentioned, the calling of a conference of 
the Central Committee and the Bolshevik deputies somewhere 
abroad had been mooted before the opening of the Dum.a. It 
was proposed that this conference should outline a plan on which 
the whole of the activity of the Duma fraction should be based. 
But the conference had a much wider importance, it had to deal 
also with the tasks of the Bolsheviks in the new period of growing 
revolutionary activity among the workers and with the consequent 
developments within the Social-Democratic Party. As the result of 
its deliberations and decisions, it became one of the outstanding; 
events in the history of our Party and of the revolutionary struggle. 

The convocation of the conference, which was to be held at 
Cracow in Galicia, coincided with the Christmas recess of the 
Duma. The Bolshevik deputies were unable to leave St. Peters- 
burg at once owing to the strike and lock-out at Maxwell's fac- 
tories. Only after the strikers' maintenance funds had been 
organised and all workers' organisations mobilised to help, were 
we able to go to Cracow. 

The Cracow Conference sat from December 28, 1912, to 
January 1, 191 3. For purposes of camouflage it was called the 
February Conference and figured as such in the press and in Party 
literature. Lenin was in the chair and in addition to the deputies 
the following were present : Nadezhda Konstantinovna Krup- 
skaya, G. Zinoviev, A. Troyanovsky, Valentina Nikolayevna 
Lobova, E. Rozmirovich and a few other comrades, delegates from 
big working-class centres. Of the deputies, Petrovsky, Malinovsky , 
Shagov and myself were present. 

A year had passed since the Prague Conference, January 1912. 
That year had been one of powerful development of the revolu- 
tionary movement, which found its expression in the growth of 
political and economic strikes, in mass demonstrations, in the 
creation and consolidation of the workers' press, etc. Big develop- 
ments had also occurred within the Party during this period ; a 
sharp cleavage between the two sections of the Social-Democratic 
Party and an acute struggle between us and the Mensheviks. 
Liquidationist tendencies, clearly indicated in speeches and 
articles, were dominant among the Mensheviks. 


The division between the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks was 
spreading throughout the whole labour movement and everywhere 
the revolutionary policy of the Bolsheviks was gaining ground. 
The elections to the State Duma, which had given us a decisive 
victor\' in the workers' electoral colleges, were most instructive 
in this respect. They demonstrated the enormous influence that 
the Bolsheviks exercised over the masses and that tiic working 
class was following the Bolshevik path in its revolutionary struggle. 

The first month of the work of the Duma fraction showed that 
the workers' deputies were following a correct policy. At the same 
time, it became clear that the Mensheviks were conducting, and 
would in future continue to conduct, a stubborn struggle against 
the workers' deputies, who opposed their revolutionary tactics to 
those of the majority of the fraction. From the point of view of 
the interests of the working class the Mensheviks, in the first 
Duma session, contrived to commit many errors. These errors, 
• harmful to the revolutionary movement, had to be definitely 

These were the questions dealt with at the Cracow Conference. 
On these matters of great revolutionary importance, the con- 
ference had to give directions for the future activity of the Party- 
After several days' work, a number of decisions were taken which 
solved many practical problems, gave an estimate of the political 
situation in Russia and defined the policy of the working class. 

The Cracow Conference, recognising the extreme importance 
of unity, emphasised that unity was possible only subject to the 
condition that the secret illegal organisation was acknowledged. 
The reunion must take place " from below — in the shop com- 
mittees, district groups, etc. — with the workers themselves 
checking in fact whether the illegal organisation is being recog- 
nised and whether the revolutionary struggle is being readily 
supported and revolutionary tactics adopted." 

'Ihis resolution stressed once again the breach between us and 
the Mensheviks and the necessity for a persistent struggle against 
the corrupting influence of the Liquidators on the workers. 
Another resolution stated : " The only true type of organisation 
in the present period is an illegal Party composed of nuclei each 
surrounded by a network of legal and semi-legal societies. The 
illegal nuclei must be organisationally adapted to the local every- 
*lay conditi(jns." The chief task was stated to be the setting up at 
factories and works of illegal Party Ccjmmittees with one leatling 
organisation at each centre. 

The conference recognised that the best type of organisation 
was that which prevailed at St. Petersburg, 'i'hc St. Petersburg 


Committee was composed of delegates elected by the districts and 
of co-opted members, which resulted in a very flexible organisa- 
tion, in close touch with the nuclei, and at the same time well 
concealed from the secret police. It was also recommended that 
regional centres should be organised and contact maintained with 
the local groups on the one hand and the Central Committee on 
the other by a system of delegates. The resolution on organisation 
established a harmonious system firmly welded from the bottom 
to the top. 

One of the crucial questions at the conference was the report of 
our Duma fraction. The work of the fraction was subjected to 
careful and minute discussion. During the first month of the 
Duma, the fraction had had to take a number of decisions on 
important matters. The admittance of Jagello to the fraction > 
the declaration and the first interpellations were points which 
enabled the conference to judge the activity of the Duma fraction 
and to note the mistakes committed by the Menshevik majority. 

1. The conference notes that, in spite of unparalleled persecutions. 
and governmental interference in the elections, in spite of the 
Black-Hundred-Liberal bloc against the Social Democrats, which 
was definitely formed in many districts, the Russian Social- 
Democratic Labour Party achieved great victories in the elections- 
to the Fourth Duma. Nearly everywhere there was an increase 
in the number of votes received by the Social Democrats in the- 
second city electoral colleges, which are being wrested from the 
hands of the Liberals. In the workers' electoral colleges, which are 
the most important for our party, the R.S.D.L.P. enjoys undivided 
rule. By electing only Bolsheviks as deputies from the workers" 
electoral colleges, the working class has unanimously declared its 
unswerving loyalty to the old Russian Social- Democratic Labour 
Party and its revolutionary traditions. 

2. The conference welcomes the energetic work of the Social - 
Democratic deputies in the Fourth Duma as expressed in the 
introduction of interpellations and in the declaration which, in 
the main, defined correctly the basic principles of Social 

3. Recognising, in accordance with Party tradition, that the only 
correct policy is for the Duma Social-Democratic fraction to be 
subordinated to the Party as a whole, as represented by its central 
organisations, the conference considers that, in the interests of the 
political education of the working class and to ensure the main- 
tenance of a correct Party policy, it is necessary to follow every 
step of the fraction and thus establish Party control over its work. 

The conference resolutely condemned various actions of the 
Mensheviks which were not in accordance with the general policy 


of the Party. By accepting Jagello into the fraction, thereby 
indirectly approving the secessionist activity of the Bund, the 
Mensheviks, in the opinion of the conference, accentuated the 
split among the Polish workers and delayed the achievement of 
the unity of the entire Party. In the course of a Duma speech, 
A. I. Chkhenkeli, a Menshevik, under the pretext of " creati/ig 
the necessary institutions for the free development of each 
nationality," spoke in favour of organisationally distinct national 
Social-Democratic parties within Russia, llie conference strongly 
condemned this speech, which was delivered in the name of 
the fraction, as a direct violation of the Party programme. " Con- 
cessions to nationalist tendencies, even in such a disguised 
fashion, are inadmissible in a proletarian party." F'inally, the 
fraction, the conference pointed out, had neglected its duties 
by voting for the Progressive motion on the ministerial declaration 
instead of submitting its own. 

Although the resolution on the Duma Social-Democratic 
fraction contained nine points, only six were published in the 
Party press because the other three dealt with matters which it 
was inadvisable to make public. Owing to the loss of all documents 
referring to the Cracow Conference, these three points have not 
yet been reproduced, and it would be very difficult to quote thehi 
from memory after a lapse of fifteen years. They referred to the 
work outside the Duma of the Bolshevik " six " to whom the 
conference delegated many important tasks in connection with 
illegal Party work. The conference also dealt with the question of 
co-opting the Bolshevik deputies on to the Central Committee. 

During our stay in Cracow, the work of the " six " was discussed 
in general and in detail in our conversations with Lenin and other 
members of our foreign centre. 

'l"he workers' deputies, said V. I. Lenin, must use the Duma 
for agitation and help to develop the revolutionary movement 
by exposing both the tsarist government and the hypocrisy of 
the so-called liberal parties. The workers' deputies must be heard 
by the entire working class of Russia. But activity in the Duma was 
only a part of the work of the fraction ; as an integral part of the 
Party the Bolshevik " six " must take part in the vast work to be 
done outside of the Duma. 'I'he organisation and guidance of 
Party groups and activity in the Party press and in the trade unions 
^ere among the important duties of the workers' deputies and 
demanded from them continual work anil elfort. 

The workers' deputies must remain in touch with the masses 
and all working-class organisations, legal and illegal, must regard 
the Duma Bolsheviks as the leaders and organisers of the revolu- 


tionary struggle. Lenin constantly stressed these points in 
conversation with us. 

On the recommendation of Comrade Lenin himself I was charged 
with the duty of publishing Pravda. Lenin told me that being 
the deputy for St. Petersburg, the representative of the St. Peters- 
burg workers, I must take on that task. Pravda pursued not only 
educational and propagandist aims, but it was also the most 
important centre for organisation. He emphasised the point 
that my duty was to work there. 

We returned from Cracow armed with concrete practical 
instructions. The general policy to be followed by the " six " was 
clearly outlined and also the details as to who was to speak on 
various questions, the material that should be prepared, the 
immediate work to be done outside the Duma, etc. Coming, as 
we did, from an extremely complicated and hostile environment, 
this di'^ect exchange of ideas with the leading members of the 
Party and above all with Lenin was of the utmost importance 
for us. 

Lenin approached each deputy individually and succeeded 
in reinforcing in each of us the will to conduct an intense 
and sustained struggle. On the other hand, our participation in 
the work of the conference played a considerable part in deter- 
mining the decisions reached. We were thoroughly acquainted 
with the sentiments of the masses and our contributions to the 
discussions enabled the conference to grasp the attitude of the 
workers and to draw the necessary conclusions. 

On their return from Cracow, all the workers' deputies, 
taking advantage of the Duma recess, toured the constituencies 
from which they were ele'cted. These journeys were undertaken 
in order to give an account of the first Duma session and to increase 
the activity of the local illegal nuclei, thus carrying out the 
decisions of the Cracow Conference. 

Such tours, which were undertaken between the Duma sessions 
and sometimes in the middle of a session, did much to stir up 
the activity of the local working-class movement. The deputies 
established new Party contacts and renewed old ones, organised 
new Party nuclei and did a great deal of agitation and propaganda, 
at the same time receiving recommendations and instructions 
from the workers of their district. An instruction which was 
given to all the Social-Democratic deputies was that they should 
visit their districts as often as possible and keep generally in 
close contact with their constituencies. 

It must be admitted that the workers' deputies did this. Each 
one of us received daily a large volume of correspondence, which 


supplied detailed information of what was taking place and in 
which various recommendations and demands were expressed. 
All this served as material for our Duma work, was worked up 
and summarised in questions to the government and dealt with 
in our speeches on government bills, etc. 

Still more material was gathered on the personal trips of the 
deputies, which were a continual source of anxiety for the tsarist 
secret police. The police were unable to prevent the deputies 
from making these tours, since parliamentary immunitv still 
existed for the workers' deputies, but they seized the occasion to 
watch all those whom the deputies consulted. Before the Duma 
session terminated, the police department used to send orders to 
all governors and heads of secret police departments to watch 
carefully for the arrival of the revolutionary deputies " into the 
provinces entrusted to their care." Our distinguishing charac- 
teristics were enumerated and our photographs attached. Then at 
the railway station, the workers' deputy would be met by an 
escort of " pea-coloured overcoats " (as the spies were called) and 
shadowed wherever he went. 

To make doubly sure that the deputy should not be lost sight of, 
the St. Petersburg secret police would often arrange for one of its 
men to accompany the deputy to his destination until the local 
spies took up their work. The St. Petersburg spy delivered the 
deputy to the provincial spy against a receipt, as if he were handing 
over some inanimate object. Nevertheless we often caused some 
confusion by escaping their notice " in an unknown direction." 
The police could not always discover when we were leaving and, 
needless to say, we endeavoured to do so secretly, going to the 
station from an\"\vhere but where we lived. 

In this case the police reprimanded the house porters and door- 
keepers for not letting them know of our departure, while the 
porters protested in self-justification that the deputies had not 
informed them of their departure, had not presented passports to 
be endorsed and had not fulfilled other formalities. 

The shadowing of workers' deputies was so persistent and open 
that members of our fraction sometimes lost their patience and wired 
to the minister demanding that they should be left in peace. It was 
never stopped on that account, the only result of the complaint 
being that the spies were exhorted to carry out their work more- 
cflicicntly and to try " not to irritate " the deputies. On the other 
hand the local authorities, following the instructions of the police 
department, made use of every pretext to cut short the deputy's 
tour " on lei^al grounds " or if luck favoured them to find material 
for his prosecution. 


I believe it was to Comrade Muranov that the following incident 
occurred whilst he was in one of the Volga towns. He was in his 
apartment when the police arrived, arrested the landlord and then 
started to search the house. Muranov's case was lying on the table ^ 
and when a police officer wanted to open it he protested, stating 
that he was a deputy, and produced his documents from the case. 
The officer was forced to retire, but later his superiors repriman- 
ded him severely. He was told that so long as Muranov had not 
produced his papers, which were in the case lying some distance 
from him, the officer conducting the search should not have 
" believed " that Muranov was a deputy and therefore should not 
have allowed him to approach the case " which might have 
belonged to some other person." Then he should have seized 
the occasion to examine the contents of the case in the hopes of 
finding some evidence which might serve for a charge against 
the deputy, or, perhaps, against the whole Social-Democratic 

Not daring to attack us openly because of their fear of revolu- 
tionary outbreaks of protest, the police confined themselves to 
strict surveillance of our movements. On the other hand, all 
those who had even the remotest relations with the workers' 
deputies were subjected to cruel persecution. The position of a 
workers' deputy was an exceptionally hard one ; the least care- 
lessness on his part was liable to cause, not only the imprisonment 
of individual comrades, but also the destruction of whole organi- 
sations. Therefore when setting out on our provincial tours (and 
more so in St. Petersburg itself) we acted as secretly as possible 
and tried to avoid the spies who were shadowing us. In the small 
provincial towns where all comings and goings can be clearly 
observed and where the arrival of a member of the State Duma 
was an important event, it was by no means easy to preserve 
secrecy. Yet the members of our fraction worked hard in the 
provinces and greatly strengthened the activity of local legal and 
illegal organisations. The tours of the workers' deputies usually 
resulted in a development of the strike movement, in the creation 
of new party nuclei, in an increase of subscribers to Pravda and 
generally in the intensification of revolutionary activity. 

On their return from the first trip to the provinces in January 
1913, all the workers' deputies remarked on the great growth of 
revolutionary feeling among the workers. The period of apathy, 
typical of the preceding years of reaction, was finally left behind. 
Throughout the working class there was evident a will to struggle, 
a striving for organised action and a lively interest in the political 
life of the country. 


r\Iy comrades of the fraction were unable to give their reports 
at big legal meetings — all such meetings were invariably prohi- 
bited by the governors ; they had to speak illegally or organise 
short meetings at factories without police authorisation. 

On the whole, the workers approved of the first month's work 
in the Duma. They noted with satisfaction that our declaration 
contained the " unabridged " demands of the working class ; the 
speeches made on the occasion of our first interpellation were also 
endorsed. The workers asked many questions about the Duma 
and were very interested in the details of Duma work. They were 
also curious about the enemy camp, the Black Hundred " die- 
hards," of whom Purishkevich and Markov had acquired special 

The general attitude to the Duma, however, was clear and 
definite : the workers expected no ameliorations from it ; they 
fully realised that the proletariat could only obtain satisfaction by 
a persistent revolutionary struggle. During their journeys, the 
Bolshevik members were able to verify the correctness of the 
decisions of the Cracow Conference in regard to Liquidationist 
tendencies and Party unity. The Liquidationist tendency, which 
arose among and was chiefly supported by the intellectual pub- 
licists, was completely foreign to the workers and was altogether 
absent from many districts. Consequently in many Social- 
Democratic groups, the acute controversy waged between Pravda 
and Luch was not understood. It was apparent that to achieve 
unity, it was not diplomatic negotiations at the top that were 
necessary, but the participation of all members of the local nuclei 
in underground activities and the cessation of struggle against 
such activities. By this means Party unity would become a fact. 

This opinion fully corresponded to the policy laid down by the 
Cracow Conference. 


IN 1913 

Chapter VII 


The Commencement of 1913 — Explosion at the Okhta Powder Works 

— The Cause of the Explosion — Interpellation in the Duma — Reph' to 

the Explanations of the War Minister 

The St. Petersburg proletariat entered the new year, 1913, in the 
stormy atmosphere which was the aftermath of the recent strikes 
and demonstrations in connection with the first interpellations of 
the Social- Democratic fraction in the Duma. The workers at 
Maxwell's factories had just returned to work after fighting the 
lock-out for over a fortnight, with the assistance of the whole of 
the St. Petersburg workers. 

The first political strike of the new year — on January 9 — was 
supported in St. Petersburg with exceptional enthusiasm. About 
eighty thousand workers downed tools on the anniversary of 
" Bloody Sunday." On the previous day the whole of the police 
force had been mobilised in anticipation of demonstrations and 
many arrests made in working-class districts. Strong detachments 
of both mounted and foot police guarded all bridges and avenues 
leading to the centre of the city, and police reserves were concealed 
in courtyards behind closed gates. Groups of workers appearing 
in the Nevsky Prospect were forced back into side streets by the 

At all the St. Petersburg factories, from the biggest to the 
smallest, the workers, immediately after arriving in the morning, 
left work and poured into the streets singing revolutionary songs. 
In the Vyborg, Neva and some other districts, red flags, edged with 
black mourning, were carried through the streets. 

From the morning onwards, long processions of workers 
wended their way towards the Prcobrazhensky Cemetery to the 
graves of the victims of January 9. Throughout the day, a 
strong police detachment stationed at the cemetery was driving 
the workers away. 

At numerous factory meetings held on the same day, collections 
were taken for a fund to build a memorial to the 9th January 
victims and to assist workers prosecuted by the police. At some 
works it was decided to subscribe one day's wages and all the 
money collected was sent to our Duma fraction. Numerous reso- 


lutions, reflecting the political demands of the working class for 
civil rights, freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of 
the press, etc., were passed at the meetings and sent in to the 
fraction. Recommendations were carried concerning the unity of 
the movement. Other resolutions protested against the so-called 
" 52 points," i.e. the list of 52 localities where political exiles were 
prohibited from residing, the appointment of representatives to 
the insurance commissions by the authorities instead of their 
election by the workers, the persecution of trade unions, etc. 

The imposing strike and demonstration on January 9 showed 
that the struggle of the working class was again in the 
ascendant. Revolutionary sentiments increased from month ta 
month amongst the St. Petersburg workers, and such was the case 
too all over Russia. 

Such were the conditions under which the Fourth State Duma 
resumed its work on January 21. The deputies — landowners and 
officials — were in no hurry to begin their legislative work, only a 
small proportion of the members having turned up at the first 
sitting. The session commenced drowsily and the first business 
was the long-drawn-out question of the confirmation of the 
elections. Things became lively only when our fraction introduced 
new interpellations concerning the explosion at the Okhta powder 
works, the torturing of political prisoners, and the lock-out in the 
textile industry. 

The explosion at Okhta, where explosives were manufactured 
for the War Office, took place at the end of December. It occurred 
in the afternoon and by the evening rumours were spreading 
throughout the city as to the large number of victims. 

Five men perished under the wreckage, among which their 
bodies were later discovered, totally disfigured. The charred body 
of one worker was only identified by a rag of material from his 
suit. Over fifty were seriously wounded, the majority being 
women, because in the pipe workshop where the explosion took 
place mainly women were employed. 

The explosion caused a mad panic at the works and it was only 
by chance that more victims were not involved. No medical help 
was at hand and the doctor who arrived an hour later was unable 
to do anything. 

The next morning I went to the works to ascertain directly the 
extent and causes of the explosion. The official in charge refused 
to give me a pass to the scene of the explosion. I went to the chief 
of the works, General Somov, who also declined, stating that only 
the Artillery Board could issue passes. It was obvious that the 


management was afraid to admit deputies to the works and wanted 
to prevent unwelcome disclosures. 

According to General Somov's explanation, the explosion was 
due to a mere accident. " Such accidents do happen, and may always 
happen, and I, for one," he said, " never enter the works without 
making the sign of the cross." Apparently this was the only 
measure of precaution that the management took to avert accidents 
in a highly dangerous industry. 

I failed to reach the scene of the actual disaster, but the little I 
saw while at the works revealed its enormous extent. 

I had conversations with many of the workers. They were still 
sutTering from nervous shock and panic, and seemed to be expect- 
ing another explosion any minute. Before leaving home in the 
morning, some workers had put on clean underwear, being firmly 
convinced that they were going to face death. 1 was asked to 
insist on obtaining a detailed investigation of the causes of the 
explosion, to demand from the War Office an improvement in the 
working conditions and safety measures and to organise help for 
the victims and their relatives. 

The victims of the explosion were buried on December 20. 
As early as 9 a.m. thousands of workers began to stream towards 
the church where the bodies were lying. Many workers, besides 
those from the Okhta works, followed the coffins. Ai one of the 
neighbouring plants work was completely stopped because all the 
workers had decided to attend the funeral. In all over 10,000 
people took part in the funeral procession. Scores of wreaths were 
carried in front, including one from the Duma Social-Democratic 
fraction bearing the inscription : " To the victims of capital." 
All the Social-Democratic deputies who were present in St. 
Petersburg attended the funeral. 

The St. Petersburg workers turned the funeral into a formid- 
able demonstration against the capitalist regime which was 
constantly claiming new victims from their ranks. Every class- 
conscious worker became more determined on the necessity of an 
incessant, stubborn struggle. 

The War Office opened an inquiry into the explosion in order 
to present a " report to the Kmperor." The results of such an 
inquiry were known in advance : it would be drawn up by clever 
officials and would lay the blame entirely upon " divine provid- 
ence." The Duma Social-Democratic fraction conducted its own 
investigation. Hy questioning the Okhta workers and collecting 
other material, we were able to bring to light the true causes and 
the attendant circumstances of the explosion. 

The immediate cause was careless handling by one ot the 


workers of a charged fuse-cap. According to the regulations not 
more than ten fuses were allowed to be kept on the premises, but 
there were, in fact, several thousands, and it was this which caused 
such a terrible explosion. This, however, was only the immediate 
cause ; the explosion with its attendant roll of human victims was 
really due to the terrible conditions of work at the Okhta plant. 

The manufacture of explosives, which is excessively dangerous 
work, requires highly skilled labour with correspondingly high 
rates of pay. Yet the works management, anxious to obtain cheap 
labour, engaged mainly unskilled labourers and women who came 
straight from the villages and were completely ignorant of that 
sort of work. For a continuous working-day of ten hours, a trifle 
was paid — 65 to 75 kopeks. The workers were little better than 
slaves. They were not given wage-books and were subjected to 
coarse abuse, fines, and arbitrary dismissal. 

Every striving towards education was severely suppressed : it was 
considered better that they should indulge in drink rather than read 
the papers. Oppressed by fierce exploitation, dulled by long 
working-hours (the management used to force the workers to do 
eight or nine hours' overtime a day), the Okhta workers were 
naturally unable to display that degree of attention and caution 
which is required in the production of explosives. 

To these circumstances must be added the very backward 
technical equipment of the works. The workshops were much too 
small for the work which had to be done, and a number of govern- 
ment commissions had recommended the thorough re-equipment 
of the plant and even its transfer to other premises. In such con- 
ditions explosions were bound to occur frequently. On Jan- 
uary 3, 1 91 3, only two weeks later, another explosion took place 
and more victims were added to the previous total. 

Explosions and building disasters were customary phenomena 
in Russian industrial life. Capitalism, in its ruthless exploitation 
of the workers, was responsible for thousands of deaths in the 
various industries. In our Duma interpellation we had to cover 
the whole field as well as draw public attention to the terrible 
Okhta catastrophe. We had to describe from the Duma rostrum 
the conditions under which the Russian proletariat works, to 
reveal the extent to which it was being exploited and to strengthen 
its will for the revolutionary struggle. 

The extraordinary circumstances of the case, the numerous 
victims and finally the danger of new explosions forced even the 
Duma majority to acknowledge the urgency of the interpellation. 
The motion for urgency was carried by the 134 votes of the 
Octobrists and the Centre against 127 votes of the Right. 


The fate of this interpellation showed, however, that the 
recognition of the. urgency of a question by the Duma majority 
did not, by any means, ensure its treatment as urgent. The inter- 
pellation was decided upon by the Duma on January 25, 1913, 
but the answer in a written form was not given by the War 
Minister until the summer, six months later. The Duma members 
were then away on their summer vacation and another six months 
passed before the answer of the government could be discussed. 

I was put up by the fraction as speaker for this debate. But, as 
might have been expected, the Duma majority remained true to 
itself and refrained from any action which might inconvenience the 
government. The Okhta explosion case was buried in the obscurity 
of Duma commissions and thus shared the fate of so many other of 
our fraction's interpellations. ^ 

Chapter VIII 


The Economic Causes of the Lock-out — The Lock-out at the Rossis- 

skaya Mill — The Attitude of the Factory Inspectors — The Aid of the 

St. Petersburg Workers — The Interpellation Concerning the Lock-out 

— The Second Lock-out at Maxwell's Factory 

The intensification of the struggle of the working class led to the 
consolidation and mobilisation of all the forces of the manufac- 
turers and mill-owners. The rising tide of the labour movement 
frightened the capitalists. Fines, disciplinary punishments, arrests 
of the ringleaders — all these measures had been tried. Now the 
united capitalists brought into action a powerful long-range weapon, 
mass dismissals. The lock-outs threw thousands of workers on 
to the streets and threatened them with destitution and starvation. 

The partial crisis through which the textile industry of Russia 
w^s passing at that time strengthened the hands of the mill- 
owners. From the beginning of January 19 13, lock-outs became 
common at the textile factories in St. Petersburg, especially at the 
bigger firms. 

The most protracted lock-out was that at the Rossisskaya cotton 
mill, where 1,200 workers were employed. It was obviously 
deliberately provoked by the management, which decided to 
discharge all trade unionists. Moreover, the employers wanted to 
get rid of old workers who had been at the factory for twenty 
to thirty years and replace them by younger men. 

On January 21, thirty workers in the carding department were 
informed without any previous notice that their wages were re- 
duced by 10 kopeks a day. The next morning the workers in this 
department declared a strike to maintain the old rates of pay. This 
was precisely what the management desired. That night, when the 
new shift arrived, the steam engine was stopped, the electric light 
extinguished, and the workers were told as they arrived that the 
factory was going to suspend work for an indefinite period and that 
all workers would be paid ofi^. The provocative nature of the 
owners' action was obvious. The demands of the thirty workers 
concerned only amounted to three rubles a day, but on account 
of this, 1,200 workers who were not involved in the strike were 
doomed to unemployment and starvation. 



Ignoring the provocation, the workers presented themselves for 
several days at the factory at the correct hour, but they were not 
allowed to enter. Two days later, a notice was posted on the gates 
inviting the workers to attend at the office to be paid off. At first 
the workers refused, demanding two weeks' wages in compensation 
for dismissal for which the mass of the workers were in no way to 
blame. However, the owners found allies to assist them. The 
house-owners and tradesmen of the neighbourhood refused to con- 
tinue supplying goods on credit until the workers paid off their old 
debts, which were rather large owing to the recent Christmas 
holidays. Under this pressure, the workers were forced to 
attend to be paid off". Each worker had about ten to twenty 
rubles to draw ; the whole of this had to be paid to the local 
tradesmen, but in return they could obtain further credit and on a 
semi-star\'ation level pull through for a few more days. 

From the early morning of the day of the lock-out, a nervous 
tension was apparent in the district around the mill. The teashops 
and inns, the " labour clubs " of that period, where workers met 
and discussed their affairs, were crowded with men who had passed 
sleepless nights in anticipation of the moment when they and their 
families would be faced with starvation. 

Owing to their low wages, textile workers could barely make 
ends meet even when employed, and the first day of unemployment 
was the first day of severe hunger. 

The more class-conscious workers, Social- Democrats and 
trade unionists, devoted their efforts to bringing about some sort 
of order and organised action. Several hundred copies of Pravda 
containing an appeal to the workers not to surrender were rushed 
to the spot for distribution. Attempts were made to arrange 
meetintijs to discuss the state of affairs at the mill, but the police 
dispersed all gatherings, however small. 

When the first outburst of panic and despair caused by the 
lock-out had subsided, the mood of the workers underwent a 
change. The workers began to prepare for a long struggle, and in 
spite of the police a meeting of those locked out was called. It was 
decided that all workers locked out should keep in touch, that an 
appeal for help should be made to all St. Petersburg workers, a 
determined struggle waged against the use of alcohol during the 
lock-out, and that workers' educational societies should be 
rcquestetl to organise free lectures, etc. No man or woman was 
to approach the gates of the factory, and to plead for him or herselt, 
or on behalf of groups of workers. When the factory was re- 
opened, no worker was to return unless all were reinstated. 

Considering that the owners had broken the government 


factory regulations, the workers applied to the factory inspector, 
who, theoretically at any rate, was there to protect the interests of 
the workers. The conversation which took place in the office of 
the senior factory inspector for St. Petersburg showed very 
convincingly whose interests he really " protected." 

The representatives of the textile union who went to the 
inspector to state their case were told by him : " I cannot conduct 
any negotiations with a trade union organisation. According to the 
law, I only have the right to discuss matters with the workers of 
the particular undertaking where the dispute has occurred." 

" But we, too, are acting in accordance with the law," replied 
the delegation. " According to our statutes confirmed by the 
lawful authorities, the union has the right to negotiate concerning 
the needs of its members both with private persons and with the 
representatives of government institutions." 

The conflict between these two contradictory " legal enact- 
ments " was solved by the happy chance that one of the dismissed 
workers happened to be among the representatives of the union. 
Therefore the factory inspector allowed the interview to proceed. 
The conversation lasted two hours with the inspector comfortably 
stretched out in his armchair, while the union delegates stood, 
cap in hand, before the " defender " of labour interests. 

" As regards the police rough-handling the workers and 
beating up those who went to the factory," said the inspector, 
" you should complain to the Chief of the Police. It is no business 
of mine and I cannot help you." 

But it appeared that neither could he interfere with the actions of 
the works management. He thought everything was perfectly in 
order. Workers were not entitled to receive a fortnight's wages in 
advance. His department had no power to stop the lock-out 
which the factory owners had decided among themselves. " You 
have got a bad case," was the inspector's parting shot. 

The visit to the factory inspector showed once more by whom 
and for whom the laws of Russia were framed. The workers could 
only rely on themselves and on the comradely help of the St. 
Petersburg proletariat. And they obtained this help. The ready 
assistance given by the workers to the men and women aflFected 
by the lock-out — at about the same time over 2,000 men were 
dismissed in a similar provocative fashion in another large cotton 
mill — showed the strong solidarity uniting the working class. A 
struggle at one factory was perfectly understood by the workers 
to be a struggle of the whole working class. 

The lock-out at the textile factories raised a storm of indignation 
among all St. Petersburg workers. At some places agitation was 


conducted by anarchist elements, who called on the workers to 
retaliate by breaking machines, by arson and other terrorist 
methods. Social-Democrats vigorously opposed this propaganda 
which only promised new dangers for the working class. Such 
methods were always rejected by Social-Democrats as entirely 
useless and harmful to the labour movement. Fortunately only a 
handful of people supported the anarchists and we were soon able 
to overcome these tendencies. 

The assistance given by the St. Petersburg proletariat to the 
textile workers assumed a different form. Collections in relief of 
the dismissed workers were soon started in all factories and work- 
shops. The money collected was sent to the Duma Social-Demo- 
cratic fraction, which arranged for its distribution in the correct 

In the early days of the lock-out, the textile workers had applied 
to the Social-Democratic fraction with the demand that an inter- 
pellation be introduced into the Duma concerning the revolting 
treatment of thousands of workers by the employers. An emer- 
gency meeting of the fraction decided to draft the interpellation 
at once and to introduce it at the first opportunity. It was drafted 
and introduced in the beginning of February, but was not put 
down for discussion until March i, almost six weeks after the 
beginning of the lock-out. The Duma majority purposely post- 
poned the discussion of the question so as to allow the excitement 
of the workers to die down before it was taken. 

Interpellations could be addressed to the government only on 
the ground of some infraction of the existing laws. A lock-out 
did not constitute such an infraction, since the law of the Russian 
Empire did not prohibit mass dismissals of workers. Therefore 
in order to formulate the interpellation in a legal fashion we had to 
make it a question of the failure of factory inspectors to carry out 
their duties. Behind this formal ground was the real substance — 
the exposure of the organised campaign of the capitalists against 
the working class and its trade union organisations. 

The text of the interpellation opened with a general description 
of the lock-outs declared by the mill-owners. In conclusion, the 
fraction proposed that the Duma ask the Minister for Trade 
and Industry whether he was aware of the unlawful actions on the 
part f)f factory inspectors and what he proposed to do " to induce 
these olhcials under his department to carry out their duties as 
frnposed on them by law." 

Although this interpellation was accepted by the Duma it fared 
no better than the other interpellations introduced by our fraction. 
On receiving the intcrpeilati(jns, the ministries concerned set in 


motion the entire bureaucratic machine of red tape, " making 
enquiries," " waiting for reports," etc. While the interpellatior. 
was thus being thickly covered with office dust, the acuteness of 
its subject-matter passed and it was only then that the ministei 
fulfilled his formal duty and presented his " explanations." 

The interpellation was answered, after six weeks' delay, by 
Litvinov-Falinsky, an official of the Ministry of Trade and 
Industry. This official was well known as the inspirer and executor 
of the whole labour policy of the tsarist government. His explana- 
tions excelled in open cynicism anything that had been said before 
by the tsarist ministers. Litvinov simply asserted that the state of 
affairs referred to in the interpellation did not exist ; that there 
had been no reduction in wages in the carding department of the 
cotton mill, that there had been no lock-out and no unlawful 
actions on the part of factory inspectors. This answer was 
simply revolting even when judged by the standards that prevailed 
at that time. The Markovs, Purishkeviches and their colleagues 
on the extreme Right were delighted and applauded heartily, while 
mocking at the " lies of the Left." 

The struggle at that cotton mill had hardly ended when a fresh 
lock-out occurred in the textile industry. This affected the workers 
at Maxwell's factories, where a bitter dispute had already taken 
place in December 19 12. Here the owners' attack was even more 
blatant. As was the case in the previous dispute, the workers were 
summarily discharged for participating in a political strike (on 
the anniversary of the Lena shootings). 

A meeting was held and the workers decided not to accept pay- 
ment and dismissal but to reply by a strike, demanding the re- 
instatement of all workers previously employed at the factory: 
Incidentally additional demands were made referring to working 
conditions. Despite their privation, the workers fought with 
enthusiasm and, as before, rciied on the support of the St. Peters- 
burg proletariat. 

The strikers asked me to organise the collection of relief funds 
and, during the first days of the strike, I published an appeal in 
Pravda addressed to all workers. The response was immediate 
and satisfactory ; collections were made at all factories. In the 
evening the money was brought to me and I handed it over to the 
strikers' representatives. The first day brought in 700 rubles, 
the second over 500, etc. 

The lock-out and strike lasted for a whole month. When the 
factory reopened on May 2, all the workers were not reinstated, 
but the management did not succeed in carrying out its plan in full. 
Instead of the wage-reductions and longer hours announced when 


the lock-out was declared, the old rates were maintained. This 
<:onstituted a victory for the workers, who had conducted the long 
struggle in an organised manner. 

In the spring of 1913, further lock-outs were declared in the 
textile industry involving a number of mills. The system of lock- 
outs was applied by the mill-owners as long as the state of the 
market was against them. In the summer, with the gradual 
improvement of the textile market in view of the approaching 
Nijni-Xovgorod fair, the lock-outs became no longer profitable to 
the employers. This led the workers, by a number of economic 
•strikes, to improve their conditions of work and to gain higher 
rates of pay. 

During the lock-outs of 191 2- 13, the St. Petersburg textile 
^vorkers suffered many hardships, but despite a number of defeats 
great favourable results could be noted. The textile workers, the 
most backward of the proletariat, learned the great importance of 
organisation and solidarity. The suffering was not in vain, it 
played its part in preparing the workers and steeling them for 
future battles. 

Chapter IX 


The Causes of the Strike— Strongin's Funeral— The Struggle of the 

Workers at Lessner's— Solidarity of the Workers— Three Months of 

Struggle — The Railway Repair Sheds 

During the years immediately preceding the war there were 
several instances when the St. Petersburg workers gave evidence 
of close solidarity and organised power. But in this period of 
intense and heroic struggle the strike at Lessner's factory, which 
lasted throughout the summer of 1913, was of special importance. 
Its cause, its duration and the vast sympathy it evoked among the 
masses make this strike one of the outstanding episodes of the 
labour moveiyient of the pre-war years. 

The strike at Lessner's cannot be classed either as purely 
political or as purely economic. It was one of those strikes which 
occur during a period of revolutionary upsurge. The only- 
demand made by the workers — the removal of a foreman who 
had caused the death of one of their comrades — seemed at first 
sight comparatively insignificant, yet it was the cause of a long 
and stubborn fight such as could only arise under conditions when 
the working class faced the class of the capitalists in a general and 
open battle. 

The strike at the " New Lessner " works arose in the following 
way. The foreman of one of the machine shops gave several 
hundred screw nuts to a worker, Strongin, to cut threads on them. 
In the course of the work several nuts were lost ; they were either 
accidentally thrown into the rubbish heap or taken by mistake to 
another shop. Strongin informed the foreman, who, after shouting 
vile abuse at him, demanded the return of the nuts within two 
days "or else I shall sack you and mark your book ' for theft.' " 
Strongin was unable to find the nuts or to prove that he had not 
stolen them. The foreman's threat to sack him branded as a thief 
loomed before him as a disgrace that he could not endure. Strongin 
obtained permission to work late and during the night he went to 
an unfrequented part of the works and hanged himself on a 

On the morning of April 23 the body was found by the 
watchman and, as the news spread through the works, all the 



workers left their benches and gathered round the dead body. 
The workers demanded that the management should at once 
investigate the matter. Instead of this, the management sent for 
the police, in whose presence Strongin's clothes were searched. 
In one of his pockets a letter was found which, after reading it, the 
manager tried to conceal. The workers protested and insisted that 
the letter should be read immediately. It was addressed to his 
mates at the works and read as follows : 

Comrades : I am not sure whether I should write to you. But I 
shall write. . . . The foreman accuses me of theft. Before I finish 
with life, I want to tell you this, comrades, I am innocent. This is 
vouched for by my conscience, my heart, my worker's honesty, but 
I cannot prove it. I cannot leave the works, branded as a thief by the 
foreman, so I have decided to end it all. . . . Good-bye, dear 
comrades and remember — I am innocent. Yakov Strongin. 

The crowd, deeply shocked by the dying declaration of a 
comrade hounded to death by the management, stood spellbound 
for several minutes. Then voices were heard : " Hats otf, com- 
rades," and the revolutionary funeral march was sung in chorus. 
When the foreman, the murderer of Strongin, appeared, he was 
met with cries of " Judas," " Betrayer," " Hangman," " follow 
the coffin and never show yourself again at the works." All the 
workers accompanied the body to the mortuary. 

Next morning pn arriving at work they saw there the man who 
was responsible for Strongin's death. When the manager declared 
that the board of directors refused to dismiss the foreman, the 
workers at once decided to strike until the murderer was removed 
from the works. The factory closed and all the workers employed 
at the " New Lessner " went home determined not to return until 
their demand had been granted. 

A huge demonstration took place at Strongin's funeral. The 
pcjlice and the employers, as is customary in such cases, did all 
they could to prevent a large attendance. The day and hour 
of the funeral were kept secret as long as possible ; but on the day 
before the editors of Pravda managed to obtain this information. 
An announcement was pubhshcd in the stop press column, but, 
as the paper did not reacli the workers before they started work, 
only individual workers learned that the funeral was to take place 
at 9 a.m. Yet at that hour more than i ,000 men had gathered at 
tbe mortuary. Workers from the New Lessner were there in full 
force, as well as rejiresentatives from other factories. Wreaths were 
hurriedly obtained and, as there was no time to have them printed, 
inscriptions were written with chalk on black ribbons and witli 
coal (m white. Some of these ribbons were cut otf by the police 


because of the revolutionary nature of the inscriptions. Thousands 
of people accompanied Strongin's body to the entrance of the 
churchyard. There the procession was stopped by the mounted 
police, who only allowed the coffin and a few near relatives of the 
deceased to enter. 

Malinovsky and I had arranged to attend the funeral as repre- 
sentatives of the Duma fraction, but the police in conjunction 
with the works management tricked us out of being present. At 
the factory office we were told that Strongin was to be buried at 
the Mitrofanyevskoye cemetery. When we found that this was 
incorrect, we rang up the factory and were again misdirected. 
After wandering for several hours on the wrong track, we finally 
reached the Preobrazhenskoye cemetery to find that the crowd 
had been dispersed by the police and the coffin had already been 
lowered into the ground. Many workers who had also been 
deceived in this way wrote to Pravda expressing their sympathy 
with the Lessner workers. 

In reply to the strike, the management announced that all old 
workers were dismissed. At the same time, the bourgeois press 
published advertisements inviting applications for work at the 
factory. The strikers, however, stood firm and these strike- 
breaking announcements met with no response. The workers 
were exceptionally well organised. Realising that they could 
not hold out for long without assistance, they at once issued 
an appeal to all workers in St. Petersburg to help them in the 

Soon afterwards, the workers at the other Lessner factory, 
" Old Lessner," came out in support of their comrades on strike. 
Now both the Lessner factories stood idle. The management was 
no longer able to recruit workers for the " New Lessner " under 
the pretence of accepting them for the " Old." Nor could it any 
longer even partially cope with its outstanding orders. Since the 
non-fulfilment of contracts usually entailed penalties, this threat- 
ened the owners with considerable loss. 

Then the management attempted to get its orders completed at 
other factories, sending patterns, unfinished articles, and drawings. 
In spite of the measures adopted to conceal this manoeuvre, the 
strikers soon learned of it. They appealed to all St. Petersburg 
metal-workers to boycott all such work. The other workers 
responded unanimously and none of Lessner's work was executed 
at the other factories. 

Every refusal to perform such blackleg work, every greeting 
received from other factories, encouraged the strikers and 
strengthened their hope of victory. Workers' contributions to the 


strike fund had never been so plentiful and regular. At many places 
collections were made not merely on one occasion, but workers 
gave regularly a certain percentage of their wages. At one factory 
overtime was allowed to be worked on condition that half a 
day's wage was given to the Lessner Fund. Married workers at 
this factor)' also offered to feed temporarily at their homes the 
children of Lessner workers who were in special need. 

During the struggle about 18,000 rubles were collected — the 
largest sum ever collected during a strike. All money was first 
sent to the Duma fraction, which then arranged for its distribution 
according to the strikers' needs. The strike became famous all 
over Russia and contributions reached us from some of the 
remotest towns, even from the outlying regions of Eastern Siberia. 
I was in charge of the fund and regularly acknowledged the 
receipt of all donations in Pravda, stating in detail the amount 
collected and the source. 

The struggle at Lessner's factories was the most striking event 
in the working-class movement of 1913. The Party was intimately 
concerned in it, supporting the strikers in every way and spread- 
ing information about the strike among as many workers as pos- 
sible. Pravda published daily reports on the course of the struggle 
and printed the strikers' appeals to other workers as well as their 
notes and letters. 

All through the summer the strike went on. Early in June the 
police began to arrest the leaders, hoping in this way to break 
down the workers' resistance. A number of those arrested were 
sent out of St. Petersburg and prohibited from residing in fifty- 
two specified localities. Simultaneously the management of the 
works sent personal letters to the workers at their homes inviting 
them to resume work on " the old terms." But still the workers 
held out. 

At last, after sixty-eight days, the workers at the " Old Lessner " 
returned. At the " New Lessner " the strike continued for another 
two weeks until August i ; altogether the workers had been out 
for the unparalleled period of 102 days. In spite of the fact that 
it ended in defeat, the strike was of enormous importance in the 
history of the labour movement. It drew in and stimulated new 
sections of the working class and gave a practical demonstration 
of the power of the organised solidarity of the proletariat. 

While the Lessner workers were out, other strikes were pro- 
ceeding and were being supported by the workers. The strike 
movement normally increased during the summer months. In the 
summer it was more convenient to call short meetings at the works, 
it was easier to arrange illegal meetings (usually held in the sub- 


•urban woods) and to bear the privations entailed, than it was 
during the winter. 

With the growth of the movement, the connections of our 
fraction with the masses became closer. During the Duma sum- 
mer recess, as during the other intervals, the deputies returned to 
work in the regions from which they had been elected and I alone 
remained in St. Petersburg. At this time I had to perform the 
work which was usually divided among our six deputies. 

Workers would call on me to ask all sorts of questions, especially 
on pay-days when money in aid of strikers was brought. Each 
worker who came with a contribution asked many questions. I 
had to arrange to supply passports and secret hiding-places, for 
those who became " illegal," help to find work for those victimised 
during strikes, petition ministers on behalf of those arrested, 
organise aid for exiles, etc. Where there were signs that a strike 
was flagging, it was necessary to take steps to instil vigour into 
the strikers, to lend the aid required and to print and send leaflets. 
Moreover, I was constantly consulted on personal matters. 

There was not a single factory or workshop, down to the 
smallest, with which I was not connected in some way or other. 
Often my callers were so numerous that my apartment was 
not large enough for them, and they had to wait in a queue on the 
staircase. Every successive stage in the struggle, every new strike, 
increased these queues which symbolised the growing unity 
between the workers and the fraction and at the same time fur- 
thered the organisation of the masses. 

In the spring of 1913, a dispute at the locomotive repair works, 
where I was employed before I became a deputy, revealed the 
sound organisation and unity of the masses. As far back as during 
the election of the delegates remarkable unanimity was displayed, 
and the vigour and self-reliance of the workers were increased. 
And after one of them, a worker previously nominated, was 
elected deputy for St. Petersburg, the revolutionary sentiments 
grew still further. 

The secret police were paying a great deal of attention to the 
activity at the works and were determined to seize the first favourable 
opportunity to damp down the workers' enthusiasm. The moment 
selected for action was the tercentenary of the Romanov dynasty 
in February 191 3. For some time previously the police had been 
zealously purging all factories, striving to " eliminate " all active 
workers so as to prevent any revolutionary demonstrations at this 
festival. Arrests and expulsions were carried out in batches ; all 
suspects were removed. 

During the night of February 13, several railway workers were 


arrested. They were set free when the occasion for their arrest 
was over, but were refused readmittance to the works. The 
general manager told them : " Send in a petition to me. We will 
consult the police and find out whether you may be reinstated." 

The shop stewards insisted on the reinstatement of the liberated 
men. Thereupon the manager tried to scare them : " You are 
advancing revolutionary' demands. Remember that you will be 
held responsible. Don't incite the workers." 

Indignant at such an attitude, all the workers gathered in one 
of the shops and, after discussing the situation, demanded the 
immediate reinstatement of their comrades. The demand was 
worded uncompromisingly ; failing a satisfactory reply, a strike 
was to be declared at once. 

The works management, playing for time, suggested that it 
should be allowed to consider the matter. But this was greeted 
with derision by the assembled workers. " You have had a whole 
week to consider the documents " ; " Reinsta^te the men at 
once " ; " We shall not disperse until our five comrades have been 

The resolute stand of the workers had its effect. Confronted 
with such unanimity, the management was constrained to give 
way. The general manager announced that after dinner the five 
men would be allowed to return to their jobs. This incident 
demonstrated the power of solidarity and I considered that it 
should be made widely known among the masses. Therefore I 
published in Pravda the following appeal to workers at the 
railway repair shops : 

Dear Comrades : I hasten to congratulate you on your successful 
united action on March 4, when you boldly prevented your five 
comrades being deprived of their daily bread and demanded that 
they be reinstated. Everywhere the workers' conditions are hard, but 
nowhere more so than in the repair shops of the Nikolaievskaya rail- 
way. Prior to being elected to the Duma, I worked for many years 
in these shops and know personally the oppressive measures of 
the management : harsh treatment, discharge without notice or 
reason, etc. Apparendy the new manager is following in the foot- 
steps of the old and is perhaps even more arbitrary. Conditions are 
worse on the railways than in many private works. One would 
imagine that in State undertakings, which are less dependent on 
market fluctuations, working conditions would be considerably better 
than in privately-owned establishments. They should be models 
i)oth in regard to technical equipment and the treatment of the 
workers. Workers in State factories should have a shorter working- 
day, higher wages and the assurance of not being dismissed for no 
reason whatever. 


But what, in fact, do we observe in the State railway shops ? Owing^ 
to the prevalence of overtime, 12 hours is the normal working-day 
instead of 9 hours. These long hours are accompanied by low wages 
barely enough for the most miserable existence. 

As the elected representative from these shops, I am particularly 
pleased at the action which you have taken. With solidarity and 
determination you have defeated the management and succeeded in 
defending the livelihood of your comrades. Remember, comrades,, 
that unity and class-consciousness constitute our force and that onl)*" 
by united, class-conscious action can we improve our conditions. 

By order of the city governor, the newspaper was fined 500 
rubles for publishing my appeal. Although we knew that it 
might lead to a fine or even to confiscation and although the 
financial position of Pravda was far from secure, we had decided 
to run the risk. This appeal to the workers in the railway repair 
shops was essentially an announcement to the whole working class 
and had to be circulated as widely as possible. Printed in Pravda it 
was much more effective than if it had been issued in the form of a 
leaflet from the " underground " printing press. 

The appeal created the impression which we had anticipated — 
it reinforced the determination of the workers. For a time the 
success of the workers and their revolutionary spirit forced the 
secret police to hold back. Later, however, the police decided to 
make another raid. 

On the morning of the first day after the Easter holidays (in 
April 191 3), strong detachments of police appeared at the works. 
Several men were stationed in each shop and the workers were not 
allowed to pass from one shop to another unless it was necessary 
for work and then only under escort. 

After these preparations the four selected victims were informed 
that they were discharged. Comrade Melnikov, who had just been 
elected member of the board of the metal-workers' union, was 
again included. The discharged workers demanded that they 
should be told the reason for their dismissal, but the police refused 
to allow them access to the general manager. Later the manage- 
ment informed the shop stewards that the workers had been 
discharged at the request of the secret police. The four discharged 
workers were then arrested, sent out of St. Petersburg and for- 
bidden to reside in the " 52 localities," i.e. in any of the more 
important cities of Russia. 

The same day the workers rushed to me with requests that I 
should send protests against this action to any authority concerned. 
It was apparent that no petition or protest would avail. The secret 
police, smarting under fhe failure of their former attack on the 


five workers, were determined this time to inflict heavy punish- 
ments on their victims. 

I pubUshed in Pravda another appeal to the workers to reply 
to this fresh attack by rallying round the Party and strengthening 
their organisation. This, of course, could not be stated openly and 
I worded my appeal so that it could be understood by all class- 
conscious workers : 

The workers request me to draw the attention of the highest 
authorities to these barbarous methods. Very well, I will go to 
the Minister. But, comrades, I must say at once that this will be of 
little use. We must all consider our position, read our workers' news- 
paper more regularly and become acquainted with the ways in which 
other workers are fighting to improve their conditions. 

Chapter X 

Strike at the Baltic Dockyard— Visit to the Minister for the Navy — 
The Struggle of the Obukhov Workers — Interpellation Concerning the 
Obukhov Works — Explosion at the Mine-Manufacturing Works — 
Demonstration at the Funeral — Fine for Attending the Funeral — 
The Duma on my Fine 

The Baltic naval dockyards were under the control of the Minister 
for the Navy. Working conditions there were as intolerable as in 
the other War Office factories. The ordinary workers earned twelve 
to eighteen kopeks an hour, overtime was customary and normally 
meant that working-hours were doubled. The workshops were 
extremely unhealthy, damp, draughty, smoky, and in winter very 
cold. Men had to work in awkward, cramped positions. Seven 
or eight years there were often enough to make a man a complete 

As in all war establishments, where the managers wore officers' 
uniforms, the workers were persecuted with exceptional ferocity. 
The management was intimately connected with the police and 
every manager and foreman was also a political police agent. 
Espionage was fostered and denunciation encouraged, and on 
obtaining the necessary information the management immediately 
handed the " sedition-mongers " over to the police. 

Despite these conditions, the workers did not lag behind the 
rest of the proletariat. Throughout the spring and summer of 
1 913, disputes were frequent at the dockyards, leading to strikes 
of the whole undertaking or embracing only some of the depart- 
ments and shops. 

During a dispute which broke out in May in one of the shops 
affecting ten workers, who refused to work overtime, three dele- 
gates were chosen to negotiate with the management. While the 
negotiations were being conducted, the chief of the dockyards sent 
for the police, who arrested the delegates. The same night. May 20, 
after their homes had been searched, the ten workers were also 
arrested. In reply to this, 2,000 workers of another shop came 
out and added to their economic demands the demand for the 
release of those arrested. The same day, the strikers sent represen- 
tatives to the Duma fraction to inform them of what had happened 



and ask them to intercede on behalf of the men who had beer; vic- 
timised. Another member of the fraction and myself sent a wire 
to the Minister for the Navy requesting an inter\-i«\v. 

Durine: my membership of the Duma, in common with the rest 
of our fraction, I had frequently to call oa various Ministers. 
Generally we had to visit the Minister for the Interior, who 
controlled the police and consequently dealt with cases of arrests, 
expulsions, etc. 

We were perfectly well aware that we would obtain no tangible 
results from these visits. Why then did we go ? We considered 
that, as in the case of speeches delivered in the Duma, the visits 
had a certain agitational importance. When the workers were 
informed that their deputy, a worker like themselves, had deman- 
ded to be received by the tsarist minister, and that the latter was 
bound to negotiate with him, they had more heart for the struggle. 
The information, published in Pravda, that the workers' deputy 
had presented this or that demand drew fresh strata of workers 
into the fight. After each of my visits to a minister, new workers 
appeared at my apartment, workers who had hitherto had nothing 
to do with the Party or with the trade unions, but who now 
made demands, brought material for interpellations and thereby 
were drawn into the ranks of the organised workers. The advanced 
detachments of the workers were thus reinforced by fresh recruits. 

Admiral Grigorovich, the IVIinister for the Navy, was away at 
the time that we "applied, so we received a reply from Admiral 
Bubnov, his assistant, who agreed to see us the following morning. 
After relating all that had taken place at the works, we proposed 
to Bubnov that he should now give serious attention to the abuses 
practised by the dockyard management. 

The assistant minister at first made the usual excuses : that he 
knew nothing of the affair, that the head of the dockyards had not 
informed him in his report that workers were dismissed for refu- 
sing to work overtime, or that wages had been reduced, etc. When 
the conversation passed on to the question of arrests, however, 
Bubnov forgot these denials and it became clear that the head of 
the dockyards acted in accordance with instructions received from 
higher authorities. True, Bubnov protested that his orders to the 
head of the dockyards did not contain a request to the police to 
arrest the workers. As if the pt^lice could have understood in any 
other way the recjuest addressed to them f(jr help as against the 
strikers ! 

As the result of our protests, Bubnov had to promise that he 
would send a special ollicial to investigate conditions at the Baltic 
dockyards. This prc^mise was merely a subterfuge. 'I'he next day, 


instead of an investigation, a notice, emanating from the assistant 
minister, was posted at the works, announcing the closing down 
of the workshops concerned and mass dismissals of the workers. 

Our visit to the assistant minister, however, had some effect. 
The next day, by orders " from above," the police released the 
arrested men. But the strike did not end ; on the contrary other 
departments joined in, including the carpenters and painters. 
These workers presented demands for higher wages and better 
conditions, and characteristically enough, also the demand to be 
treated civilly. The workers were protesting against the barrack- 
like regime which was then prevalent in military and naval 
establishments. Over 3,000 men were on strike on this occasion. 

In a month's time, at the end of June, another strike broke out 
at the Baltic dockyards. The immediate cause was bad treatment 
of the workers and the systematic rate-cutting enforced by one of 
the managers, Polikarpov. The workers chased him out of the 
workshop, which was thereupqn closed down. The workers, in 
their turn, declared a strike and put forward a number of demands. 
In order to break the spirit of the workers, the aid of the police 
was obtained, as during the first strike. More than ten workers,, 
whom the management suspected of being leaders and organisers, 
were arrested. The strikers immediately informed me, and once 
again I called on Grigorovich, the Minister for the Navy, to speak, 
on behalf of the prisoners. 

Admiral Grigorovich was one of those tsarist ministers who 
posed as liberals and who attempted to keep on " good terms " 
with the Duma members. Their liberalism, however, was a sham. 
Their object was merely to avoid irritating the public by too glaring 
reactionary measures, but in reality they followed the same Black 
Hundred policy as the pogrom-makers, Maklakov, Shcheglovitov 
and others. Grigorovich's " reasonable " attitude was so much to 
the liking of the Octobrist majority that later, when the Octobrists 
were playing at opposition, Rodzyanko proposed Grigorovich as 
Premier of a responsible cabinet. 

Fully aware that our conversation would be broadcast among the 
masses, Grigorovich played the part of a friend of the people. 
He told me : " I have worked my way up from the bottom of the 
ladder and have been through the hard school of work since I 
started as a simple clerk." 

He even said that at one time he had addressed meetings of 
workers from a soap-box and preached radical ideas, etc. Hence he 
regarded himself as an expert on labour questions and he discussed 
the conditions and needs of the workers at length. I was, of course, 
under no misapprehension as to whom I was talking to, and fully 


understood his purpose in giving expression to these sentiments of 
love for the workers. As soon as possible I turned the conversation 
on to the business with which we were concerned and stated 
the workers' demands with regard to the men detained and the 
arbitrary methods of the authorities. 

Grigorovich's " HberaUsm " at once vanished into thin air ; 
I could get no definite answer, and finally he called in his assistant, 
Bubnov, and asked him to start the investigation. We knew what 
Bubnov meant by investigation from the example he had given 
us during the previous strike, when he was responsible for many 
further dismissals and the complete whitewashing of the manage- 
ment. Bubnov began to assure us that now everything was 
going well at the dockyards : earnings were high, no one was 
forced to work overtime, in fact the workers had no grievances at 
all. And with regard to the men arrested, no anxiety need be felt, 
since if they were innocent, they would be released. 

When I pointed out that the picture of prosperity painted by the 
assistant minister was far removed from reality, that the working 
conditions and the managerial measures were continually provo- 
king the workers, Grigorovich once more promised to investigate, 
to look into, to find out, etc. 

Knowing the value of ministerial promises and in order that 
the workers should understand what to expect from tsarist 
ministers, I printed in Pravda a detailed account of this conversa- 
tion, pointing out how false the promises and assurances were. My 
account of the visit to the Minister was, in effect, an appeal to the 
Baltic workers to continue their struggle and not to place any hope 
in the authorities. 

Soon afterwards I had further negotiations with the Minister 
for the Navy in connection with the strike at the Obukhov works, 
which were also controlled by the Navy Department. The strike, 
which commenced at the end of July and involved the 8,000 men 
employed there, was caused by the intolerable working conditions. 
The workshops were full of noxious gases, but ventilation appli- 
ances were not installed in spite of repeated requests from the 
workers. All the men worked a twelve-hour day with no break 
for dinner, and wages were from twenty to forty rubles a month — 
less than the legal minimum. 

The strike lasted over two months and, when it was over, about 
a hundred workers were black-listed and not reinstated. In the 
course of the strike thirty men were arrested and fourteen deported 
from St. Petersburg and forbidden to reside in fifty-two cities 
in the Empire. But this did not satisfy the police ; a trial was 
staged of a number o{ (Jbukhov workers ; they were accused of 


bringing about a strike " in undertakings where a strike endangered 
national interests." 

When the first men were arrested I appHed to Bubnov for an 
interview, but apparently afraid that I would obtain new material 
for agitation, he did not answer my telegram. 

The Obukhov workers were tried after the strike was ended oa 
November 6, 1913. On the day of the trial over 100,000 St., 
Petersburg workers came out on a one-day strike and at all fac- 
tories and mills meetings were held and resolutions of protest 
passed. More than a hundred such resolutions were received by 
our fraction and the Pravda, but they were so sharply worded that 
the Pravda could not print them even in extracts. This political 
strike met with enthusiastic and unanimous response. Caused by 
the desire to defend the few rights which the workers enjoyed 
under the existing regime, it was in fact not a defensive measure^ 
but a new attack on the government. 

A week after the trial the Obukhov workers came out again ; 
this time the strike was the result of new rules introduced by the 
management. Under the new rules it was impossible for even the 
most careful worker to avoid incurring a fine every day ; overtime 
was compulsory and was paid at the ordinary rate instead of at 
time-and-a-half, and on pay-day the workers were systematically 

The management assumed a most provocative attitude towards 
the workers. No meetings were allowed, not even those provided 
for in the rules, and it was announced that criminal prosecutions 
would be started against certain grades of workers if they stopped 
work. The entire district was flooded with police. 

As the Obukhov workers considered that it was impossible to 
enter into negotiations with their immediate chiefs, they decided 
to send a delegation to the Minister for the Navy in order to 
acquaint him personally with the conditions at the dockyards and 
to state their deijiands. Once again at the request of the workers I 
went to Grigorovich and described the conditions of the Obukhov 

This time Grigorovich did not even pretend to be liberal or a 
friend of the people. He stated that he could neither receive a 
delegation from the workers nor authorise a meeting to elect one, 
" Whatever their needs," he said, " the workers can only submit 
them to the chief of the dockyards." 

The autumn session of the Duma was about to open, and the 
Obukhov workers requested us to introduce an urgent inter- 
pellation on the conditions of the workers at the dockyards and on 
the actions of the management. The interpellation was introduced 


on November 15, but it did not appear on the agenda until ten 
days later. 

In the debate that followed the Right produced their big guns ; 
their chief spokesman was Markov, the outstanding leader of 
pogroms, never tired of appealing for hangings and shootings. The 
prison regime set up by the tsarist government was too mild for 
him. Representing in the Duma the most reactionary wing of land- 
owners, who had still fresh in their memory the burning and loot- 
ing of their estates in 1905, Markov demanded extreme measures 
against all symptoms not only of a revolutionary^, but even of a 
liberal bourgeois movement. Naturally he had a fierce hatred of 
the working class, which he regarded as the most dangerous enemy 
of the existing regime. 

Markov's speech was directed against the strike movement and 
the Social-Democratic party which was leading it. He began with 
a personal attack on me, taking up my last words about the 
challenge which the Social-Democratic fraction, in the name 
of the entire proletariat, hurled at the Black Hundred majority 
in the Duma. 

" Mr. Badayev," said Markov, " you are a young man ; a 
challenge is only made when a fight is intended. But you are not 
fighting yet. A challenge to the Ministry must not be confused 
with common sense and common sense ought to be your principal 

Markov wound up his speech with a question addressed to the 
government. He wanted to know whether the government con- 
sidered that it was sufficiently energetic in its struggle against the 
revolutionary movement : 

" Are you, gentlemen, really doing your duty of protecting the 
Russian people against miscreants and enemies who act from 
without but who penetrate into the country with the aid of persons 
guilty of high treason ? I declare that our fatherland is in danger." 

His speech was full of tiireatening words and gestures directed 
at the Social-Democratic fraction. 'I'urning to the benches of the 
I^ft, he put up his hands as if holding a rifle aimed at them and 
said : " You are attacking us, but we will have a shot at you 
first ! " 

The interpellation was passed by the Duma, but this did not 
mean that the workers gained anything. Everything at the works 
rymained as before ; the Minister for the Navy did not make the 
slightest concession. 

The conditions of the Obukhov workers were not exceptional. 
The most ruthless exploitation and intolerable conditions pre- 
vailed at other works, especially at those working for the army and 


navy departments. Every moment the lives of the workers were 
threatened by an explosion or catastrophe. Formerly, under the 
heavy heel of reaction, fatal accidents passed quietly, almost 
unnoticed ; now however the funeral of every worker who died 
as the result of an accident was the occasion of a huge revolutionary 

Crowds of workers followed the coffins of workers whom they 
did not know personally, singing the revolutionary funeral march 
beginning : " You fell, victims " and bearing wreaths with 
revolutionary legends written on red ribbon. The cemetery was 
transformed into a meeting place for thousands. In conditions of 
illegal work, when workers' meetings were prohibited, when it was 
only possible to assemble secretly in the woods or in small apart- 
ments, demonstrations at funerals assumed a revolutionary 
importance. Party organisations appealed to the workers to come 
in thousands, speakers were appointed in preparation, leaflets were 
distributed, etc. 

The police also made extensive preparations ; strong detach- 
ments accompanied all funeral processions and both mounted and 
foot police were active at the cemetery. They rushed across the 
graves, destroyed wreaths, refused to allow even relatives of the 
deceased to approach the grave, prevented speeches, seized anyone 
who attempted to speak, and dispersed the people after making a 
number of arrests. 

I have already recalled the conditions under which the funeral 
of the victims of the Okhta explosion took place. I shall tell now of 
a funeral demonstration during which I incurred special police 
persecution, and which roused the workers and was the subject of 
a debate in the Duma. 

Early in September 19 13, two workers were killed in an explo- 
sion at the St. Petersburg mine manufacturing works (formerly 
the Parviainen works). The twenty-pound cover of a machine 
was blown clean through the roof of the building, two workers 
were killed on the spot and the whole workshop spattered with their 
blood. The explosion was the result of carelessness on the part 
of the management, as the machine had not been tested. 

On September 9, thousands of workers downed tools to be 
present at the funeral. Men from the mine works and also men from 
the Putilov, Aivaz and other factories followed the coffin. From 
the beginning the police obstructed the procession. First they 
demanded the removal of red ribbons from the wreaths ; later, 
on the Liteyni bridge, they insisted that the coffin and wreaths 
should be placed on the hearse. 

In answer to my question why the coffin could not be carried by 

LAHOIR IN ST. IMvlKKSlilRc;, 1913 (>; 

hand, the poHce representative rephed that such were his instruc- 
tions from higher authorities. The procession was diverted from 
the main streets along Voskresenskaya and Znamenskaya. In 
Ligovka, taking advantage of the fact that there were fewer police- 
men, the workers again carried the coffin on their shoulders up to 
the Mitrofanvcvskoye cemetery, singing the revolutionary funeral 
march " You fell, victims." 

Near the cemetery, more police appeared and the red ribbons 
which had been re-attached to the wreaths were again torn off. 
During the burial sers'ice, many more workers arrived ; they had left 
the factories at the dinner inter\^al. The crowd of about 5,000 was 
in fighting spirits and the singing of the revolutionary funeral song 
was interrupted by appeals to fight. Knowing I was to speak, they 
surrounded the grave in a solid ring so as to give me time to begin 
before the police could reach me. The forces of law and order were 
fully armed and only waited the word from the inspectors to make 
use of their whips. 

When the coffins had been lowered into the grave, I mounted 
a bench and began my speech : 

" Comrades ! Bloodthirsty capitalists, in their striving for 
larger profits, are prepared to sacrifice the lives of the workers. 
You see the reward which the workers receive for their hard and 
painful toil. TJie working class will only obtain improvements in 
its conditions when it takes the matter into its own hands. . . ." 

But no sooner had I uttered these words than policemen began 
lo shout : 

" Hold him, don't let him speak." 
The police inspector ordered : 
" Mounted police, whips ready ! " 

The mounted police rode down, trying to disperse the crowd. 
A free fight developed near the grave. Several policemen pulled 
me down from the bench and an inspector ran up, seized me by 
the arm and told me that I was arrested. I showed him my 
deputy's card. 

" You are free, but 1 shall not allow you to speak. 1 am instructetl 
to allow no speeches." 

In the meantime the crowd, thinking that I was arrested, had 
become ver)- agitated and surrounded the inspector, uttering 
threats against -the police. I again mounted the bench to continue 
my interrupted speech and called on the workers to keep quiet 
and avoid causing fresh casualties. The mounted police, flourish- 
ing their whips, pressed the crowd back from the grave to the 
cemetery gates, and it was only by a mere chance that fresh blood 
was not spilt. 


After the funeral, the police drew up a protocol accusing me 
of disobeying the orders of the authorities. Three months later, 
the St. Petersburg city governor, Drachevsky, issued an order 
fining me 200 rubles for " interfering with the actions of the 
police." When an official called on me and demanded payment, I 
flatly refused. The city governor's order was quite illegal as the law 
concerning the Duma prescribed that deputies were liable to no 
punishments or fines except by sentence of a court and then only 
with the consent of the Duma itself. 

I informed the workers through Pravda of this new attempt to 
encroach on the rights of deputies and many protest strikes were 
declared. Action was first taken at the mine manufacturing works 
where the explosion had taken place. A one-day strike was agreed 
on and at a meeting a resolution was carried protesting against 
my being fined for speaking at the funeral of their fellow workers. 
The Langesippen works, employing 1,000 men, followed suit, and 
the movement quickly spread to other factories. 
• After two weeks, when it evidently became clear to him that I did 
not intend to pay the fine, the city governor issued an order sub- 
stituting six weeks' detention for the fine. He also gave orders 
that I was to be arrested during the next Duma recess. When 
this became known it led to renewed unrest among the workers. 

Then the chairman of the Duma, which had as yet done nothing 
to protect the " immunity of deputies," thought fit to interfere. 
Rodzyanko, however, insisted that I should take the initiative, 
i.e. that I should apply to him requesting protection. In this 
way he could excuse himself to the Black Hundreds, saying that 
he was not defending an enemy of the government, but merely 
passing on to the correct authorities a statement received from a 
deputy. When he saw that I did not intend to present such a 
statement, he tried to achieve his purpose in a roundabout way. 
He sent one of his subordinates who, in the name of the chairman 
of the Duma, expressed sympathy with me. Rodzyanko thought 
that in reply I would apply for protection. Without showing that 
I understood the object of this visit, I stated : " I am legally 
entitled to protection as a deputy. Let them try to arrest me." 

In view of the fact that this affair of my fine was assuming the 
character of a public scandal, Rodzyanko sent a letter to Maklakov, 
the Minister for the Interior, and received a reply stating that I 
would only be arrested after the expiry of my Duma immunity. 

Although the attack on our " six " had been warded off for the 
moment, the fraction decided none the less to make this attempt 
the basis for an interpellation. On the one hand, the case illus- 
trated the reactionary offensive and therefore served as agitational 


material ; on the other hand, the more widely the persecution of 
workers' deputies became known, the stroncjcr became the ties 
which bound the fraction to the masses. 

Our interpellation ended with the followinjr words : 

Being of the opinion that the city governor of St. Petersburg acted 
unlawfully in imposing a fine on a member of the State Duma, the 
Social-Democratic fraction invites the Duma to address the following 
question to the Minister for the Interior on the basis of Article 33 of 
the regulations governing the Duma : (i) Whether he is aware of 
the order issued by the St. Petersburg city governor ; (2) If so, what 
steps he proposes to take with regard to this unlawful order and to 
protect deputies of the State Duma from such actions of adminis- 
trative bodies in the future. We retpiest that this interpellation be 
regarded as urgent. 

This interpellation had been signed also by certain deputies 
belonging to the Cadets and Progressives, but when the debate 
was about to take place after the Christmas recess, twenty-three 
" liberal " deputies withdrew their signatures. Thus the inter- 
pellation was frustrated at the very moment when it should have 
been read out in tiie Duma. This alone characterises with suffi- 
cient claritv the attitude of the Cadets towards the workers" 
" We collected further signatures as required by law and again 
introduced the interpellation a week later. Petrovsky spoke on 
behalf of our fraction. 

" In spite of persecution and police iirutality," said Petrovsk\ , 
" the workers' deputies will stand by the workers, always ami 
everywhere. Neither the police nor the Black Hundred majorit\' 
in the Duma will be able to prevent the working class from 
hearing the voices of their deputies. 

" The city governor was afraid to carry out his own unlawful 
order ; his fear was well founded, for the St. Petersburg workers 
would have replied with a general strike." 

liurv'anov, whf) had now left the Mensheviks, also spoke in 
favour of urgency. He dealt with the flagrant violation of the 
immunity of deputies which, he said, had to be checked if the 
Duma was to retain any self-respect. 

But the Duma made no attempt to check the aggression of the 
tsarist police. Only the workers' deputies were concerned about 
the case and the Duma Black Hundreds heartily endorsed the 
-persecutions. The interpellation was defeated by an over- 
whelming majority. The government received in advance the 
approval of the Duma for any repressive measures it might wish 
to take against the workers' deputies. 


Chaptlk XI 


The Relations between the " Seven "' and the " Six " -'Ihe Question 
of Collahoratins: in the Luch — The " Methods "' of the Mensheviks 

Before the Spht 

With every montli that passed it became more clear that the 
unity of the Social-Democratic fraction was only a formal unity, 
and that it was bound to collapse sooner or later. The conditions 
within the fraction were not only a complete reflection of the 
C(mditions prevailing within Russian Social-Democracy, but thev 
greatly intensified the mutual contradictions. The Bolshev^ik and 
Menshevik deputies, while formally bound by the existence of a 
united fraction, were in daily conflict on a whole series of ques- 
tions concerning the revolutionary- movement. The divergences 
between the Bolshevik " six '' and the Menshevik " seven " were 
rooted in the very conception of the course of the Russian revolu- 
tion. With the growth of the revolutionary movement these 
differences increased, and this was bound to lead, sooner or later, 
to a final split of the fraction into two independent sections, 
deepening that line of cleavage which was followed by our Party 
as a whole. 

Sharp encounters between the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks 
began from the very first days the fraction was organised. I have 
already given an account of the struggle which developed within 
the fraction about the Duma declaration and the admission of 
jagello to the fraction. In both cases our Bolshevik " six " stub- 
bornly fought the Mensheviks and forced them to surrender a 
number of positions. 

The first clash within the fraction, which became the subject of 
a wide discussion, not only in Party circles but also amongst the 
masses of the workers, (jccurred in connection with the question 
of the Bolshevik deputies collaborating in the Menshevik news- 
paper, Luch. A bitter struggle raged around this question, which 
shed abundant light on the situation that arose within the traction. 
The question was of enormous importance in the sense that the 
attitude (jf the masses of the workers to the Bolshevik " six " and 
to the future final break with the Mensheviks could be ascertained 
(;n the basis of a definite concrete instance. 



In December 1912, the workers' deputies for tactical reasons 
consented to the inclusion of their names in the hst of collaborators 
of the Liich. 

At the end of January 19 13, again in agreement with our Party 
circles and, in particular, following the instructions of the Central 
Committee, we demanded that the editors of the Liich strike our 
names off the hst of contributors to their openly Liquidationist 

Our refusal to collaborate in the Ltich served as the pretext for 
the first open attack by the Menshevik " seven " on the Bolshevik 
section of the fraction. 

Of course, it was obvious to all of us already at that period, that 
the time was drawing near for a complete rupture with the 
Mensheviks. But the desire to preserve unity wdthin the Social- 
Democratic Party by some means or other was still strong among 
the broad masses of the workers. Naturally the wide public did 
not know what was taking place inside the Party organisation, in 
our underground committees or nuclei, owing to the police regime 
then prevailing in Russia. But the Duma fraction operated in the 
sight of all ; every worker, not only in St. Petersburg, but even in 
the most remote corners of Russia, knew of its existence and 
activities. When the broad masses referred to Party unity, they 
mainly had our fraction in mind. 

Under such conditions the correct political step was to show the 
workers that the real perpetrators of the split were the Menshevik 
" seven." 

In every one of its issues, Pravda appealed for resistance to the 
Menshevik attack. Comrade Stalin, in Pravda of February 26, 
wrote : 

The duty of class- conscious workers is to raise their voices 
against the secessionists' attempts within the fraction, from whatever 
quarter they may come. The duty of the class-conscious workers is 
to call to order the seven Social-Democratic deputies, who attacked 
the other half of the Social-Democratic fraction. The workers must 
intervene at once to protect the unity of the fraction. Silence has 
now become impossible. More than that, silence is now a crime. 

Our Party nuclei started a wide propaganda campaign in the 
factories and works, explaining the position that arose within the 
fraction and why the workers' deputies refused to take part in a 
Liquidationist paper. Resolutions at once began to pour in, sup- 
porting our attitude and disapproving the tactics and position of 
the Mensheviks. Representatives of factory and works organisa- 
tions of St. Petersburg personally called on the workers' deputies 
and brought resolutions bearing the signatures of workers who 


hitherto had supported the Alensheviks. To the voices of the 
workers of St. Petersburg were soon added the voices of those in 
the provinces. 

Even Plekhanov came out against the Menshcvik " seven " and 
its paper, Lucli. 

The attacks of the Mensheviks in the Luch and at workers' 
meetings were accompanied by a fight against us in the fraction 
itself. Profiting by their majority of one vote, the Mensheviks 
tried to stifle the voice of the workers' deputies and to prevent us 
whenever possible from speaking in the Duma. 

We had to fight the majority of the fraction every time we wanred 
to speak and they agreed to put us up as speakers only after a long 
and stubborn struggle. Under such conditions it became still more 
difficult for the Bolsheviks to carr}- out the main task they had set 
themselves ; to use the Duma tribune for revolutionary agitation. 

The " seven " did not merely confine themselves to preventing us 
from making speeches at the Duma sittings. They attempted to 
exclude us from the Duma commissions, which w'ere formed for 
the purpose of discussing interpellations, for the preliminary 
discussions of bills, the budget, etc. These commissions were 
permanent and were set up at the beginning of the session. 

A great volume of material, both from government and other 
sources, accumulated in the commissions and it was necessary for 
deputies to acqu!iint themselves with this material for their future 
speeches. Government representatives attended the meetings of 
the commission and gave explanations and answers to the ques- 
tions of deputies. The Social-Democratic fraction had its rep- 
resentatives in all the Duma commissions except the military 
and naval commissions, to which the Black Hundred Duma refused 
to admit the Social-Democrats and the Trudoviks, in spite of all 
our protests. 

The work of the commissions supplied an eiKjrmous material 
for agitation. We made use of it and described in the workers' 
press what was happening in the most intimate circles of the 
Duma. Yet the entire behaviour of the " seven " was directed 
towards getting for themselves the representation of the fraction 
in most of the commissions set up by the Duma. 

During the first year of the existence' of the Duma, the Mensheviks 
were represented on nineteen out of the twenty-six commissions 
on which the fraction was represented, and the Bolsheviks only on 
seven. Kven in those commissions where two seats were assigned 
to the Social-Democratic fraction, the Mensheviks tried to keep 
us out. The most imp(jrtant coiimii^sion was the i)udget coinmis- 
>iion. This \v:i< a kind of ininialuri- Duma, om- ot the main centres 


of the Duma's work. During the first sessions, the fraction was 
represented on this commission by Chkheidze and Malinovsky. 
Such a state of things did not satisfy the " seven," and when at the 
end of the year Mahnovsky resigned from the budget commission 
in favour of Petrovsky, the Mensheviks elected a second candidate 
of their own to the commission. 

The entire behaviour of the Menshevik " seven " was definitely 
directed towards gagging the labour deputies. They put spokes in 
the wheel of our work in every possible way. They also mono- 
polised the representation of the Social-Democratic fraction on the 
International Socialist Bureau, sending their own candidate, who 
could by no means be regarded as a genuine representative of the 
Russian workers. 

Already by the spring of 191 3, when the winter session of the 
Duma was drawing to a close, the conditions in the Social-Demo- 
cratic fraction became intolerable. 

It was quite obvious to us that the preservation of the state of 
affairs which had arisen within the fraction could only be harmful 
to our activity and to the revolutionary movement as a whole. 

The summer recess, which began soon afterwards, only post- 
poned the question of the final split in the Duma fraction. 

C'haptek XII 
Till-: POROMNo com'i:kkxce 

Preparations for the Conierence — In Poionino i'lu' Report of the 

Central Committee -The Main Resolutions — Discussion on the Work 

of the " Six " - Should we face a Split of the Fraction ? 

On June 15, 1913, the State Duma rose for llie summer recess. 
The regular Part\' conference, which was to have been called 
immediately the session ended, had been postponed to the end of 
summer so as to allow our Bolshevik " six " to tour their con- 
stituencies. They had to report to the local organisations on the 
Duma work, and themselves to learn of developments in the 
provinces. One of the main questions which the vsorkers' deputies 
were to put before the local organisations W'as that of the state of 
affairs within the fraction. On the other hand, the information 
obtained by the deputies was to serve as material for discussion at 
the forthcoming Party conference. 

The departure of the workers' deputies from St. Petersburg 
naturally created considerable activity among the secret police. 
Local authorities were flooded with orders from the police depart- 
ment : watchT— observe — prohibit, etc. It was extremely difficult 
to evade the police and accomplish our work without endangering 
the local Party organisations. 

Visits to provincial working-class centres, speeches at workers' 
meetings, and the exchange of views with local Party officials con- 
vinced our " six " that there had been a steady growth of Bolshev- 
ism among the masses. The attitude adopted by the " six " both 
inside and outside of the fraction was approved by the majority 
of local organisations, some even demanding an immediate break 
with the seven Mensheviks. 

The majority, however, considered that it was necessary- to 
make one more attempt to preserve the unity of the Social - 
Democratic fraction, if only in externals. Should it prove impos- 
sible to secure Bolshe\ik leadership of tlie fraction as a whole, tlu- 
seven should at least be prevented from doing harm and the 
Molshevik deputies guaranteed facilities for making wide use of 
till Duma. If sucli an arrangement could not be made, we should 
(klinitely break with the Mensheviks, as had been found necessar) 
Hi other P.irty organisations. 



After summarising the results of our tours as regards both the 
opinions of the Party groups and the sentiments of the workers in 
general we proceeded, late in September, to the Party conference. 
The conference was held at Poronino, a village in Galicia (Austria), 
not far from Cracow, where Lenin and a few members of the 
Central Committee were staying. In order to mislead the police, 
the Poronino Conference was always referred to as the August 
Conference, although it actually took place at the end of Septem- 
ber, 1913. 

Twenty-five to thirty representatives from the larger Party 
organisations were present. In addition to Lenin, Zinoviev and 
Krupskaya, who were living in Galicia, Kamenev, Shotman. 
Inessa Armand, Troyanovsky, Rozmirovich, Hanecki and other 
Party workers also attended, as well as all the Duma Bolsheviks 
except Samoylov, who was ill. 

Nearly twelve months had elapsed since the Cracow Confer- 
ence, and meanwhile the Russian revolutionary movement had 
made much progress. Political strikes on January 9 (anniversary 
of Bloody Sunday), April 4 (anniversary of the Lena shootings) 
and May i had assumed a formidable character. During that 
year, the Russian workers had celebrated, for the first time, 
International Women's Day. Economic strikes, also, had been 
distinguished by stubbornness and good organisation, while the 
struggle against the capitalists' new weapon, the lock-out, had 
been conducted with extraordinary vigour. In the whole of Russia 
during 1913 about one million workers had participated in 
strikes ; of these over half a million were involved in political 

Party work had been strengthened, extended and consolidated, 
new groups had been formed and the old ones had grown larger 
and more effective. Bolshevik influence had increased in all legal 
working-class organisations and in cultural and educational 
societies. As a result of this revolutionary growth, the Poronino 
Conference dealt with a large number of subjects, such as organi- 
sation, tactics, propaganda, agitation, etc. 

The first item of the agenda was the reports of the organisations 
of St. Petersburg, Moscow, the Ukraine, Poland, and the Urals. 

Since all the delegates were informed of the course of the 
strike movement and the political actions of the workers of St. 
Petersburg, I devoted my report chiefly to the state of Party 
organisation and to the work of the St. Petersburg Committee. On 
the basis of decisions taken at the Cracow Conference, important 
measures of reorganisation were adopted and the St. Petersburg 
organisation consolidated. Sporadic guerrilla actions such as those 

[\{E Sl'JJl' IN THE FRACTION lo.; 

that occurred on the opening day of the Duma were no longer 
possible. Leadership wiis now concentrated in an executive com- 
mission, and the St. Petersburg Committee was closely connected 
with the Narva, Neva, Vyborg and Vassileostrovsky districts, i.e. 
with the main working-class areas. I dealt further in detail 
with the organisation of the two underground printing shops which 
were then working for the St. Petersburg Committee and which 
had issued leaflets in 20,000 copies with trade union work, support 
for Pravda, appeals for funds, etc. 

An abridged version of my report, signed " Member of the 
Executive Commission of the St. Petersburg Committee," 
appeared in the December issue of the Party's central organ, 
Sotsial-Dcmokrat (published abroad). The published part of the 
report refers to the structure of the St. Petersburg organisation 
and to the work of the St. Petersburg Committee. 

All activity in the St. Petersburg District is now controlled by tht 
St. Petersburg Committee, which has been functioning since autumn 
last year. The Committee has contacts at all works and factories and 
is informed of all developments there. The organisation of the 
district is as follows : At the factory, Party members form nuclei in 
the various workshops and delegates from the nuclei form a factorv 
committee (at small factories, the members themselves constitute the 
committee). Every factory committee, or workshop nucleus in large 
factories, appoints a collector who on each pay-day collects the dues and 
other funds, books subscriptions for the newspapers, etc. A con- 
troller is also appointed to visit the institutions for which the funds 
were raised, to see that the correct amounts have been received there 
and collect the money. By this system, abuses in the handling of 
money are avoided. 

Each district committee elects by secret voting an executive comi- 
mission of three, care being taken that the committee as a whoK- 
should not know of whom the executive commission actually 

The district executive commissions send delegates to the St. 
I'ctirshurg Committee, again trying to ensure that the names should 
not to be known by the whole district committee. The St. Petersburg 
Committee also elects an executive commission of three. Sometimes, 
for reasons of secrecy, it was found inadvisable to elect the represen- 
tatives from the district commission and they were co-opted at the 
(.liscretion of the St. Petersburg Committee. 

Owing to this system, it was difficult for the secret police to find out 
,. who Jtc members of the St. Petersburg Committee, which was thus 
enabled to carry on its work, to guide the activities of the organisa- 
tions, declare political strikes, etc. 

The Committee is held in high esteem by the workers, who, on all 
important points. ;iwait its t^'iiidance and follow its instructions, 


Special attention is paid to the leaflets which the Committee issues 
from time to time. 

St. Petersburg trade union organisations have decided not to call 
political strikes on their own initiative but to act only on instructions 
from the St. Petersburg Committee. It was the Committee which 
issued the call for strikes on January 9, April 4 and May i. 
The workers strongly resented the suppression of Pravda and wanted 
to strike, but the Committee decided that it was necessary first to 
prepare the action properly and to issue an explanatory leaflet which 
should reach the masses. Within a few days another paper appeared 
and as it followed the same policy the workers were somewhat 
reassured. Although no appeal to strike action was issued, some 
30,000 workers left their work. 

Leaflets are of great importance and the Committee devoted much 
effort to perfecting its machinery for their printing and distribution. 
The Committee consists entirely of workers, and we write the leaflets 
ourselves and have difficulty in finding intellectuals to help in correct- 
ing them. 

The St. Petersburg political strikes, far from ruining the organisa- 
tion, strengthened it. It may be asserted that the St. Petersburg 
organisation was revived, strengthened, and is developing, owing to 
the political strike movement. The shouts of the Liquidators about 
a " strike fever " show that they are completely detached from 
the workers' organisations and from the life of the masses ; they 
altogether fail to grasp what is now taking place among the workers. 
From my position in the centre of the St. Petersburg working-class 
movement, I notice everywhere how the strength of the workers is 
increasing, how it shows itself and how it will overwhelm everything. 

The resolutions of the Cracow Conference were read and studied 
by the workers in the factories and the entire work of our organisation 
was conducted in their spirit. Their correctness was fully proved in 
practice ; taking active part in the work, I felt all the time that the 
line of policy was correct. I rarely met a Liquidator or heard of 
one ; this surprised me at first, but later, at a meeting of metal- 
workers, I learnt that they were almost non-existent in St. Petersburg. 

Comrade A. V. Shotman made a supplementary report on 
work at St. Petersburg and gave many further details. 

The local reports were received as information ; no decisions 
were then taken in connection with them, but they served Xo 
illustrate the state of Party organisation and thus enabled the 
conference to tackle the general problems. 

Immediately after the conclusion of local reports, Lenin read 
the report of the Central Committee. He pointed out that the 
development of the revolutionary movement and the successful 
Party work confirmed the correctness of the Bolsheviks' policy as 
decided at the Prague Conference in January 191 2, when a new 
Central Committee had been elected. 


The course of the elections to the Duma, the successful launch- 
ing of a newspaper and the high level of the strike movement were 
all results of Party work under the guidance of the Bolshevik Cen- 
tral Committee. Lenin declared : " We can truthfully say that we 
have fully discharged the duties which we assumed. Local 
reports show that the workers are active and anxious to build up 
and strengthen their organisations. Let the workers realise that 
it is thev and no one else who can do this." 

Comrade Krupskaya dealt with the technical side of the 
Central Committee's work, with correspondence, contacts, 
transport and the Committee's representatives in the important 
cities. Comrade Zinoviev spoke on the results of the work of 
our " six." 

After preliminary reports, the conference proceeded to discuss 
other questions on the agenda. Deliberations continued for almost 
two weeks and the subsequent work of the Party was fully out- 
lined. The conference stressed once again that the principal 
slogans for the working-class struggle must be : "a democratic 
republic," " confiscation of landlords' estates," and " the eight- 
hour day." These slogans were to be used in every political 
strike. In the matter of the organisation of a general political 
strike, the conference welcomed the initiative of the St. Petersburg 
Committee and of a number of Moscow Party groups and con- 
^idered that agitation and preparation for an all- Russia general 
political strike should be conducted immediately. 

The resolution on strikes contained six points, the last of which 
for reasons of secrecy was not published. Until recently the text 
of this last point was not known, because naturally the documents 
of the conference have not survived. However, I accidentally 
came across a copy of the full text of the resolution in the archives 
of the police department. The sixth point dealt with the necessity 
of carrying on political strikes simultaneously in various cities, 
especially St. Petersburg and Moscow : 

The conference calls on all local workers to reinforce their agitation 
by the distribution ot leaflets and to establish permanent and close 
co-operation between the political and other workers' organisations 
in various cities. It is t-sjiccially important to secure agreement 
between Moscow and St. Petersburg workers in the first place, so 
that political strikes which may occur for various reasons (persL-cutioii 
ot the press, insurance protests, etc.) slioukl as far as possible take- 
place simultaneously in both towns. 

In the same archives a copy of the resolution on the Party press 
was also preserved. The first Wvi: points rjf this resolution were not 


published and it was thought that they had been lost. The 
following is the full text : 

1. The conference recognises the enormous importance of a lecjal 
press for the cause of Social-Democratic agitation and organisation 
and therefore calls on all Party organisations and class-conscious 
workers to lend their whole-hearted support by distributing papers 

- as widely as possible, by organising mass collective subscriptions 
and by the payment of regular dues. The conference once more 
emphasises that the said dues are membership dues to the Party. 

2. Special attention should be paid to the strengthening of the legal 
workers' paper in Moscow and to the speedy establishment of a 

^ paper in the south. 

3. The conference desires to bring about the closest co-opefation 
between the existing legal papers by means of mutual exchange of 
information, the holding of conferences, etc. 

4. Recognising the importance and the necessity of a theoretical 
Marxist organ, the conference desires Party and trade union 
papers to call the attention of the workers to the journal Prosvesht- 
chenye (Enlightenment), and to appeal to them to subscribe 
regularly and support it in a systematic fashion . 

5. The conference calls the attention of Party publishing organisa- 
tions to the necessity for a wider circulation of popular pamphlets 
for agitation and propaganda. 

6. In view of the recent development of the revolutionary movement 
and of the importance of analysing it thoroughly, in the complete 
manner which is impossible in the legal press, the conference 
draws special attention to the necessity of extending our illegal 
publishing work and recommends that, in addition to illegal 
pamphlets and leaflets, a central illegal Party paper should be 
issued regularly at short intervals. 

The conference pointed out that the most important task in 
respect of Party organisation was not merely the strengthening 
of the different Party units but their co-ordination into a united 
whole. For this purpose it was suggested that wherever possible 
regional Party conferences should be held and that representatives 
should be sent to the Central Committee. The question of 
convoking a regular Party congress was also raised at the con- 

The report presented by our " six " on the work of the Social- 
Democratic fraction in the Duma was one of the main issues dealt 
with at the conference. Since the Cracow Conference we had 
gained fresh experience both as regards speaking in the Duma 
and our work outside. But it seemed to us that our use of the 
Duma for revolutionary agitation w^as not enough. Before the 
conference opened, we had private talks with Lenin on our work. 

" We arrange demonstrations against ministers and the Black 


Hundreds whenever tl^ey appear on the rostrum," I said to 
Lenin, " but this is not enough. The workers ask ' what practical 
proposals do you make in the Duma ? Where are the laws which 
you put forward ? ' " 

Lenin answered with his usual laugh : *' The Black Hundred 
Duma will never pass any laws which improve the lot of the 
workers. The task of a workers' deputy is to remind the Black 
Hundreds, day after day, <hat the working cfess is strong and 
powerful and that the day is not far distant when the revolution 
will break out and sweep away the Black Hundreds and their 
government. No dt)6bt it is possible to. move amendments and 
even to introduce some bijls, but this mi;st only be done in ordeY Vo 
expose more effectively the antirWQrki-ng-class nature qf the 
tsarist regime and to reveal the absolute lack of rigiits of the 
exploited workers. This is really what the workers should hear 
from their deputies." 

Several sittings were devoted *o the debate on our report, and 
in the tes6lution adopted the conference reaffirmed previous 
Party decisions that Social-Derftocratic deputies were not con- 
cerned with so-called j5ositive legislative worfc but that their 
task was to utilise the Duma for revolutionary agitation and 
propaganda. Although none qf the bills submitted to the Duma 
were satisfactory, the question arose as to what should be done 
when a bill did propose some improvement in the conditions of 
the workers. The conference decided Ihat wfe were to vote for 
such measures only when an immediate apd direct improvement 
such as shorter hours or higher wages, etc., was involved. If, 
however, the effect of the proposal was doubtful, the fraction was 
to abstain after expressing clearly its reasons for doing so. The 
conference decided that, in connectix)n with evei^ question raised 
in the Duma, the Social-Democratic fraction sl>ould formulate 
and introduce its own independent resolutions fbr passing to tjie 
order of the day. 

A special resolution dealt with internal conditions in the fraetifon 
and with our diticrcnces with the IVlcnsKeviks. The conferWicc 
liad to consider the advisability of a fin_al break with the Mens'hevik 
" seven " and of forminfj an independent fraction of Bolsheviks. 
.Mtkough this step was regarded as necessary and inevitable in the 
lonj/ run, there were many asjK'ctj to be consic^lored i>efore such a 
'?.cTuni?, move could be made. How \Y)uld tfye massos react to it ? 
Would they undors.tand thajt unity with tfj_ie i.iqiiidators was 
only harmful to the intto^sts of the wcxkere ? Would ohcy not 
consider tt ncTcssary that Injl^i wings of thp Party ^lieujd act 
together against the Bhtck Hundreds ? The situation wj^s rci\- 



dered more difficult by the fact that, owing to the strict censorship 
and poHce persecutions, it was impossible to conduct a wide 
campaign of enlightenment on this question. Our press was 
unable to call a spade a spade and even the three basic slogans of 
the Bolsheviks had to be camouflaged by the use of similar words. 
It was essential that the split should occur in such a way that the 
greatest number of those people who were hesitating between 
the two wings shquld be attracted to our side. This applied both 
to class-conscious workers and to members of the fraction itself. 
Our task was to wrest from the Mensheviks all who were not 
irretrievably sunk in the Liquidationist swamp. 

The resolution of the Poronino Conference, adopted after these 
points had been considered, required as a preliminary step that an 
ultimatum should be presented to the Menshevik " seven " 
demanding absolute equality for both sections of the fraction. 
Only if this was refused were we to break with the " seven " and 
form an independent fraction. The following was the text : 

The conference is of the opinion that the unity of the Social- 
Pemocratic Duma fraction is possible and necessary, but considers 
that the behaviour of the Menshevik " seven " is seriously endanger- 
ing this unity. 

The " seven " make use of their bare majority of one to obstruct the 
work of the six workers' deputies who represent the overwhelming 
majority of the Russian workers. On a number of occasions when 
important matters relating to workers were^dealt with and when the 
Social-Democratic fraction put up two or more speakers, the six 
deputies were refused the opportunity of nominating one of them. 

The " seven " also refuse to allow the " six " one of the two seats, 
on Duma commissions (e.g. the budget commission). 

When a representative has to be elected from the fraction to bodies 
of importance to the labour movement, the seven deputies by their 
majority of one always deprive the six of any representation. The 
officials of the fraction are elected in this one-sided way ; e.g. the 
demand for a second secretary has been rejected. 

The coq/erence considers that these actions of the seven deputies 
prevent the smooth working of the fraction and must inevitably lead 
to a split. * 

The conference protests most emphatically against such actions of 
the seven deputies. The six deputies represent the enormous 
majority of the working class of Russia and act in full accord with 
the political line of its organised vanguard. 

The conference is, therefore, of the opinion that only if there is 
full equality between the two wings of the fraction and only if the 
" seven " give up their policy of stifling the voice of the " six," will 
it be possible to maintain the unity of the Duma Social-Democratic . 


In spite of irreconcilable divergences on work not only in the 
Duma, the conference insists on the unity of the fraction on the 
above-stated basis of equal rights for both sides. 

The conference invites all class-conscious workers to express their 
opinion on this important question and to contribute with all their 
energv to the preservation of the unity of the fraction on the basis of 
equal rights for the six workers' deputies. 

In proposing this solution our Party made a last attempt to 
minimise the harm that the Mcnsheviks could do without causing 
an ofHcial split. But the division of the fraction into two wings, 
each enjoying equal rights, would in itself establish a sharp 
distinction between the " six " and the " seven," and even if no 
formal split were to occur, we w^ould be able to conduct our Duma 
activities in accordance with Party decisions. 

Just before we left Poronino the workers' deputies attended a 
meeting of the Central Committee, at which the practical steps to 
be taken by the " six " in regard to the jNIensheviks were discussed. 
It was decided that we should present a series of demands : that 
a second secretary be appointed, that new members be norfiinated 
for the budget commission, that new delegates be appointed to 
the International Socialist Bureau, "Und that the speakers for the 
fraction be chosen in equal numbers from Bolsheviks and IXIen- 
sheviks. The- text of the letter containing these demands was 
drafted there and then. In the event of the " seven " refusing, it 
was agreed that we should break away from them altogether and 
appeal to the masses. 

Chapter XIII 


Our Ultimatum to the Mensheviks — The SpHt— How the Workers 

Reacted to the Spht — Echoes in Party Organisations— Plekhanov 

against the Seven " — The Significance of the SpUt for the Party 

On our return from Pofonino, the six workers' deputies proceeded 
to their various districts to report on the conference and to put into 
operation the decisions of the conference on the question of organ- 
isation. At the request of the Central Committee I went out to the 
Bejetzk works at Bryansk, where we had a strong organisation ; 
during the whole period of my membership of the D«ma I 
remained constantly in touch with the workers there. 

We returned to St. Petersburg in time for the opening of the 
autumn session of the Duma on October 15. At the first meeting 
of the Social-Democratic fraction, which was held on the following 
day, a special announcement was at once made by us. After briefly 
describing the position which had arisen in the Party, we presented 
our demands for equality of treatment for both wings of the frac- 
tion, stating at the same time : " We demand an immediat'e reply. 
In the event of a refusal, we shall leave the fraction." 

Chkheidze tried to avoid the discussion of our demands : 
" Is the meeting willing to discuss the declaration of the six 
deputies ? " he inquired, and being assured of his usual iiiajority 
he wanted at once to put the question to the vote. 

In answer to our protest against such a method of p'rocedure, 
one of the " seven " came to the assistance of the chairman 
with the suggestion that the meeting should first discuss the 
current affairs of the fraction and then pass on to the consideration 
■of the issue raised by the " six." But, definitely refusing to con- 
tinue to work as a united fraction until we received a reply to oujT 
demands, we left the meeting in a body. 

The Mensheviks were obviously taken aback by this deter- 
mined action and at first were at a loss as to how to react. There- 
fore, in order to gain time, they requested us to present the 
declaration in writing and promised to give a reply withi-n a week, 
inviting us meanwlyle to continue to participate in the work of 
the fraction. On the ilext day we handed in the following declara- 
tion : 



A year of common work in the State Duma has given rise to 
much friction and a number of clashes between us and you, the other 
seven Social-Democratic deputies. The differences were frequently 
discussed openly in the press, and your last decisions, taken just 
before the closing of the Duma in June, when a number of the mem- 
bers were away, show the utter impossibility of eontiniiing the present 
state of things. These decisions mean that by virtue of your seven 
votes vou intend to refuse to allow the Bolshevik " six " one of the two 
seats on the budget commission or a representative to a most import- 
ant organisation. 

Coming on top of your repeated refusals to allow the workers' 
deputies one of two speakers put up in the Duma, this decision is 
more than we are prepared to stand. 

You are aware that we have been, and are, acting fully and exclu- 
sively in the spirit of consistent Marxism, adhering, as we do, 
ideologically to all its decisions. You know, comrades, that we do 
not exaggerate when we say that our activity is in complete harmony 
with the ideas and will of the vast majority of the advanced Marxist 
Russian workers. This is proved by the way in which Pravda, the 
first workers' newspaper created by the upsurge of the labour 
movement in April-^Iay 1912, has rallied the m.ajority of the working 
class. It is proved by the elections in the workers' electoral colleges 
to the Fourth State Duma, when in every case Bolsheviks were 
elected as deputies, revealing that in comparison with the workers' 
electoral colleges for the Second and Third Dumas, there has been 
an enormous growth of Marxism and anti-Liquidationist ideas among 
the class-conscious Russian workers. It is also apparent in the results 
of the election of the Board of the St. Petersburg Metal-Workers' 
Union and in the history of the first workers' newspaper in Moscow. 

It is clear that we consider it our duty to act in strict conformity 
with the will of the Russian workers united under the banner of 
Marxism. Yet you, the other seven deputies, choose to act inde- 
pendently of that will. You adopt decisions which are in opposition 
to it. We would remind you of your acceptance of the Polish 
deputy, Jagello, into the fraction, although he was not recognised 
by any Social-Democrat in Poland, and also of your adoption of 
the nationalist slogan of cultural autonomy against the wishes of the 
workers, etc. We have no exact data about your relations to the 
Liquid ationist tendency, but we believe that yjou incline towards it, 
although only in a half-hearted fashion. But, be that as it may, it is 
apparent that you do not consider yourselves bound by the opinions 
and demands of the class-conscious Russian workers with whom we 
work hand in hand. 

In these conditions every Socialist, every class-conscious worker, 

"in any country in the world would condemn outright your attempt 

to suppress us by your one extra vote and to use this slight advantage 

to force down our throats a policy which is rejected by the majority 

of the Russian workers. 


We are forced to recognise that our differences as to how work 
should be conducted both inside and outside the Duma are irrecon- 
cilable. We are convinced that your conduct in refusing us 
a just proportion of representation aims at a split and precludes the 
possibility of our working together. But in view of the insistent 
demand of the workers to preserve the unity of the Social-Democratic 
fraction, if only for outward appearances, if only in the Duma work, and 
being of opinion that the experience of the past year has shown that 
it is possible to achieve such unity by agreement in our Duma work, 
we request you to state once for all, precisely and unambiguously, 
that no further suppression by your seven votes of the six deputies 
from the workers' colleges is to take place. The preservation of a 
united Social-Democratic fraction is only possible if there is a full 
recognition of equality between the " six " and the " seven " and if 
our work in the Duma follows the line of an agreement between us on 
all questions at issue. 

This declaration was published in Pravda together with an 
appeal to all workers to support the demand of the " six." On the 
same day, Pravda opened a campaign against the "seven" and 
explained the meaning of the struggle which had arisen in the 
fraction. One of the articles contained figures showing the 
number of workers in the districts from which Social-Democratic 
deputies had been elected : nine-tenths of the total number 
lived in the districts which had returned Bolsheviks, while one- 
tenth stood to the credit of the Menshevik seven. Many articles 
exposing the Liquidators and explaining the criminal part which 
they were playing in the struggle against the Party were received 
from members of the Central Committee abroad, including some 
from Comrade Lenin. 

" Rally to our defence ! " was the appeal of Pravda. " Our 
patience is exhausted. The workers' deputies approached the 
majority of the fraction requesting freedom to carry out their work 
and to fulfil the tasks imposed on them by the proletariat; the 
' seven ' answered as before by trying to shirk the issue. Therefore 
the workers themselves must settle the question. We appeal to all 
those to whom the interests of the working class are dear, to rally 
to the defence of the workers' representatives and to declare to 
the * seven ' that the workers will not allow the will of their chosen 
deputies, the consistent Marxists, to be violated. '*^ 

The workers of St. Petersburg responded readily to our appeal 
and their example was follow^ed by the workers of other big cities. 
The columns of Pravda were filled with resolutions passed by the 
workers condemning the behaviour oFthe " seven " and promising 
support to the workers' deputies. The following is one of the 


first resolutions received before the Mensheviks had given an 
answer to our demands : 

We, the workers in the gun workshop of the Putilov works, having 
learned from the press of the disputes that have taken place in the 
Social-Democratic fraction in the State Duma, state that we regard 
the demand of the six deputies elected from the workers' electoral 
colleges, who are the representatives of the Russian working class 
as a whole, to be perfectly correct. Further, we require from the 
seven deputies the recognition of the right of the " sbc " to guide all 
the work concernixig working-class tactics. 

During the first week after the publication of our declaration 
to the Menshevik " seven," Prazda received resolutions adopted by 
the workers of twenty-five factories and signed by over 2,500 
workers. Moreover, four meetings of delegates representing about 
a hundred works in the St. Petersburg area declared against the 
Liquidators and for the " six." Similar resolutions were carried by 
the executive committees of the four trade unions representing 
some 3,000 members. 

At that time, when the split was imminent, all our Party organi- 
sations did good work amongst the masses. Several meetings 
were arranged by the Metal- Workers' Committee and all our 
" six " spoke daily at gatherings of v/orkers who were keenly 
interested in the struggle against the Mensheviks. In some 
districts the supporters of the Mensheviks, when they learned 
that one of us was to speak, invited also a representative of the 
" seven." The debates which followed on such occasions usually 
ended in the discomfiture of the Mensheviks, since the majority of 
the workers, once they had grasped the true character of the 
quarrel, sided with the Bolsheviks and demanded that the Duma 
fraction should pursue a Bolshevik policy. 

Whilst refraining from giving a direct answer to our demands, 
the seven published a lengthy explanation of their position in the 
Novaya Rabochaya Gazeta, which now appeared in place oiLnch. 
Their policy was perfectly clear. They wished to delay the 
matter as long as possible and, while conducting a campaign in 
the press and among tiie workers, to bring in some way pressure 
on us from outside. But their calculations were all wrong ; our 
decision had been taken after serious consideration and could not 
he affected i->y a few days' delay. 

We attended the regular meeting of the fraction on October 21, 
and again demanded an answer to our conditions. Chkheidze, in 
the name of the " seven," replied that a final answer would be given 
within four days and meanwhile they considered it possible for 
work to be continued only on the old basis, i.e. \\ itiiout recognising 

equal rights for both sections of the fraction. The meeting then 
adjourned and separate conferences took place of the " six " and 
the " seven " with Comrade Novosyolov, the doorkeeper of the 
fraction, acting as intermediary to convey proposals from one to 
the other. Finally we informed the " seven " that we were willing 
to wait a few more days, but that during this time we would not 
take part in the general voting of the fraction but would announce 
the collective decision of the " six " on any question that arose. 
, The ensuing fraction meeting showed that the Mensheviks 
were far from considering any renunciation of the power which 
their one-vote majority gave them.- They refused to allow us 
a speaker on the interpellation concerning the press and proceeded 
to appoint two Mensheviks. It is interesting to note that they 
stated that since there was no difference of opinion between the 
two wings on this question there was no reason to have a speaker 
from each. Thus, if there were differences of Qpinion, a Bolshevik 
should not speak because that would destroy the unity, and if 
there were no differences, then, too, it was not necessary for a 
Bolshevik to address the Duma. 

At the next session of the Duma the '* seven " demonstrated the 
extent to which they accepted Liquidationist principles. The 
Menshevik, Tulyakov, speaking on behalf of the fraction, 
declared : " The freedom of association, which includes the right 
to hold meetings, is our fighting slogan." Thus Tulyakov openly 
proclaimed a Liquidationist slogan which had been definitely 
opposed by the Party because it was substituted for the genuine 
revolutionary demands of the workers. 

Finally, on October 25, the Mensheviks gave their long- 
awaited answer to our declaration. As we expected, they rejected 
all of our demands and proposed to continue the work of thie 
fraction along the old lines. After receiving the written reply, we 
left the meeting. This was the last meeting of the united Social- 
Democratic fraction of the Fourth State Duma. The split had 
become an accomplished fact. 

On the following day Pravda published the following appeal 
of the " six " addressed to all workers : 

Every worker, on reading the reply of the seven deputies in which 

they reject all our demands, will undoubtedly ask himself : " What 

is the next step } " 

Will the fraction reunite } Will the workers allow the seven deputies 

who keep aloof from the Marxist organisation to speak in the name of 

Social-Democracy } What are we, the six workers' deputies, to do 

now that the " seven " have decided by means of their one- vote 

majority to follow a policy which is contrary to the will of the 

workers ? 


We realise that the workers demand the unity of Social-Democrats 
in the Duma. When we asked the proletariat if they agreed with our 
conception of how that unity should be achieved, thousaiuls of 
workers replied : " We do.'" We are convinced that this is the 
opinion of the majority of Russian workers. 

For the sake of that unKty, we did not discontinue our work within 
the fraction and did all we could to preven-t the majority in the fraction 
destroying that unity. We had the right to expect that the seven 
deputies would put aside factional considerations and would listen 
to the voices of the hundreds and thousands of workers who, by their 
resolutions, appYoved our demands. 

But this did not happen. The " seven " rejected our demands, 
ignored the workers and countered their clearly expressed will. We 
are no\V faced with the necessity «f maintaining an independent 
existence. That must now be clear to all workers to whom the 
interests of the Marxist organisation and the cause of the proletariat 
are dear. 

We appeal to you, comrades, for support in this critical period. 

We had now finally broken with the "seven." On October 27 
we held the first meeting of the new Bolshevik fraction of the 
State Duma and sent an official notification to the " seven " that 
in view of their refusal of our demands, we should henceforward 
constitute an independent fraction in the Duma. For the purpose 
of joint action from the Duma tribune we told the " seven " that 
we were prepared to open special negotiations whenever necessary. 

At the same time we published another statement in Pravda 
announcing the organisation of the Bolshevik fraction and explain- 
ing the causes of the split. We wrote : 

It is common knowledge, that for some time past, two tendencies 
have been struggling for mastery within the ranks of the class- 
conscious, organised workers : one upholding the old slogans 
written on the old proletarian banner, the other represented by 
leaders who reject these slogans, declare the past of Social-Democracy 
to have been a kind of masquerading and preach the substitution of 
partial for basic slogans. 

These two tendencies have been struggling for a number of years 
within the workers' ranks and, obviously, there could be no con- 
ciliatory attitude towards such a tendency. The " seven " made use 
of their voices, not only to advocate their views within the fraction, 
but also in (jrder to give effect in the Duma to a line of policy rejected 
by us, a line of Liquidatioriist policy. . . . We could not submit to 
our old baruier being outraged, to our old demands lieing ignortd. 
For the sake of our demands, and in order to serve the cause of the 
working class, we deem it our duty to come out in defence of our 
slogans, and to withdraw from a place where they arc ignored. 
Comrades, wc shall now single-handed keep our banner flying both 


inside and outside the Duma and we appeal to you for assistance in 
this responsible work. 

We submitted all the differences which arose between us and 
the Liquidators to the consideration of the working class with 
no fear as to the result. This was a moment of great historic impor- 
tance. The division of the Party into Mensheviks and Bolsheviks 
extended from the bottom to the top, but so far the question of a 
split had only become urgent within the illegal underground 
organisations which included the most revolutionary class- 
conscious workers. Now this question, which had enormous 
influence on the course of the Russian revolution, had to be 
answered by the entire working class. By supporting our Duma 
*' six," the Russian proletariat would show that it was determined 
to struggle not only against the tsarist autocracy but against the 
bourgeois regime as a whole. For us, as for the Mensheviks, the 
position that the working class took on the question of the split 
in the Duma fraction was a matter of life or death as far as Party 
organisation was concerned. The correctness of the whole of our 
political line was, as it were, submitted to a general test, to be 
effected by the widest masses of the Russian proletariat. 

We were under no misapprehension as to the seriousness of the 
step which we had taken in finally breaking with the Menshevik 
" seven " and appealing for support to the masses of the workers. 
The advisability of the split had often been discussed by the 
Party centres and a close examination of all the circumstances 
strengthened the opinion that the working class would follow us 
and not the Mensheviks. Yet some Party comrades still wavered 
and asked whether it was not premature to make a complete break, 
whether the support of the workers would be unanimous and-, 
whether we ought not to make another attempt to preserve at least 
a semblance of unity. 

A feeling of enormous responsibility to the working class 
weighed heavily upon us during those days. Conscious of that 
responsibility we awaited with anxiety the workers' response to 
our appeal ; although sure that the majority of the workers 
would be with us, we could not calculate the extent or the nature 
of their support. All Party organisations threw themselves into 
the task of conducting an agitational campaign in favour of the 

The question of the position which the workers would assume 
was, in fact, reduced to the question of how powerful will be the 
response of the St. Petersburg proletariat. Both Bolsheviks and 
Mensheviks, therefore, devoted most of their attention to the 
conquest of the workers of St. Petersburg. At every factory, 


in every workshop, the question of the split in the fraction 
was the subject of heated controversy and hvely discussion and 
members of our " six " were continually asked to attend meetings 
to explain the reasons why the Bolsheviks left the fraction. From 
St. Petersburg the campaign rapidly spread throughout the 
countr)', the workers' deputies sent letters, appeals, etc., to their 
constituencies and in reply there was a stream of resolutions, 
greetings and promises of support. 

The campaign grew wider in extent, embracing more and more 
of the workers. The split was at first a matter of discussion in the 
narrow Party nuclei ; later it became a topic in trade union 
branches and other legal workers' organisations and finally it was 
a subject which interested the entire working ckiss. 

Despite the difficulties, all the workers' resolutions received 
by our " six " bore genuine signatures, although such an action 
rendered the signatories liable to arrest and exile or at least to 
dismissal. Consequently the number of signatures could not give a 
correct idea of the number of workers who supported us, the 
more so since, in many cases, the resolutions were signed by 
representatives of several hundreds or thousands of workers. 
Nevertheless the number of resolutions and the number of 
signatures received by us is significant when compared with the 
numbers obtained by the Mensheviks. The " seven," assisted by 
the Party apparatus and press of the Liquidators, had, of course, 
launched a campaign against us, but in the first few days after the 
split it was apparent that their position was hopeless. 

By November i, in the course of two weeks, Pravda and our 
fraction received over eighty resolutions of support bearing over 
5,000 signatures. During the same period, the Alcnsheviks could 
only muster 3,500 signatures. And even this proportion was not 
maintained, since the Mensheviks had exhausted all their efforts 
in the first weeks, and every day saw a falling oft" in the number of 
Mcnshevik resolutions while the number of resolutions in favour of 
the " six " continued to increase. In the course of the next month 
our lead was still more pronounced ; the ffow of pro-Menshevik 
resolutions from the provinces ceased almost entirely, whereas 
our supporters were only beginning to act. 

By December i it was clear that the Bolsheviks could count 
at least two and a half times as many supporters among the 
Russian workers as the Mensheviks. The amount of money 
collected by each group nmong the workers was also significant, 
'i'he Mensheviks were able to raise only about 150 rubles for 
every 1,000 which we obtained. 

The spHt in the Duma fraction and the organisation of an 


independent Bolshevik fraction had important results within the 
Russian Social-Democratic Party. All Party arganisations and 
Party groups decided one way or the other on the question, thus- 
joining one ©f the two wings of the formerly united Party. 

Our fraction received many letters from groups of comrades 
in prison and exile, where thousands of revolutionary workers 
were living at that time. Being far away and detached from recent 
developments, not all of them saw at once the correctness of our 
position ; some thought that by each side making some concessions 
it would still be possible to preserve unity. The split was especially 
painful to former Social-Democratic deputies of the previous 
Dumas. A group of ex-deputies of the Second Duma, who were in 
exile in Siberia, sent us a telegram imploring us to find some way of 
preserving a united fraction. After a time, however, they, like all 
genuine revolutionary Marxists, saw clearly that the final break 
with Menshevism was not only historically inevitable but alsa 
absolutely necessary for the successful progress of the revolution- 
ary struggle. 

Some Social-Democratic circles abroad too did not grasp the 
nature and meaning of the split in the fraction, but hovered 
between the two camps, passing from Bolshevism to Menshevism 
and vice versa. One of the largest of these groups, Vperiod 
(Forward), thought that the split was the result of the " absence 
of a single leading Party centre, enjoying the confidence of the 
majority of Party members." The Vperiodists recognised that the 
demands of the " six" were just, but they thought that the whole 
question only amounted to minor organisational clashes within 
the fraction. Thus they entirely missed the significance of the 
split and the fundamental differences which had led to it. 

The leading committees of both Bolsheviks and Mensheviks 
issued outspoken and clearly expressed statements on the question 
of the split. 

The following resolution was adopted by the St. Petersburg 
Committee of our Party. 

We send warm greetings to the six workers' deputies who now 
constitute the Russian Social-Democratic Workers' Fraction, and 
who in the whole of their activity were guided by the will of the 
Marxist organisation and remained true to the old programme and 
tactics of Social-Democracy. Without striving to accomplish so-called 
positive work, they have boldly proclaimed from the Duma tribune 
the fundamental slogans of the proletariat. . . . 

Then, after enumerating the principal motives of the " six " in 
presenting their demands to the Menshevik " seven," the resolution 
concluded as follows : *' We emphatically condemn the seve;a 


deputies and cons-ider that they have no right to assume the title 
of ' Social-Democratic fraction ' and that, being unworthy to 
represent the workers, they should resign their seats unless they 
are willing to restore unity and act in agreement with the Marxist 
organisation and the * six"^." 

This resolution \yas published in the Proletarshaya Pravda, and 
in order to deceive the censor, it was called " resolution of the 
leading institution of the St. Petersburg ^Marxists." For the 
same reasons the word " Party " was replaced by the expression 
" Marxist organisation," as in other resolutions and articles printed 
in the newspafver. 

At aboat the &am€ time, the Liquidationist Novaya Rabochaya 
Gazeta published the appeal issued by the Mensheviks' Organisa- 
tional Committee which, allso for censorship considerations, was 
called the " leading institution 0/ the Social-Democratic workers 
who united in August 1912." The Mensheviks called las " deser- 
ters," " violators of the workers' instructions," " supporters of 
the Lenin circle," " secessionists," etc., and appealed for support 
on the ground that they were the only genuine representatives of 
the working class. We have already seen the results of their 
appeals. I laving been defeateti in the agitational campaign among 
the workers, the Menshgviks rr>ade another attempt to bring 
pressure to bpar on our " six." Taking advantage or the lack of 
information concerning Russian jfffairs among foreign Social- 
Democratic parties and of the fact that it was their nominee who 
represented the fraction on the kiternational Socialist Bureau 
(of the Second International), the Mensli-eviks decided to raise 
the question at the next meeting of the Bureau. Chkheidze and 
Skolx-lcv left /or London, where the Bureau was to meet on 
December it 

Hoping to gain also the weighty support of Pleklianov, 
Chkheidze wired to hrm in Italy asking hijn to come to London 
to express his opinion on the split at the Bureau meeting. Plek- 
hajiov, however, not only declined to come to London, out sent 
a letter to the International Socialist Bureau stating thaj he 
supported the " six " and considered that the Mensheviks were to 
iilame for the Split. At the same time, since he believed that this^ 
matter finally flinched the question of a Split in tlie Sociai-Demo- 
cuatie Party, Plckhanov decided to resign from the Bureau, on 
•which he \\"as the representative ©f the whole Party. The following 
is an exjtract from his letter : 

The dUforcnccs Qf opinion wWch ha\x' oxTstcd within the Russian 
So(*ial-Dernocratic Party during the h»8t few years have now led to 
tht division of our Duma frat-tion int© two competing groups. This 


split occurred as the result of certain regrettable decisions taken by 

, our Liquidationist comrades, who chanced to be in a majority (seven 

against six). Since a decisive blow has been 'dealt at the unity 

of our Party, I, who represent among you the whole Party, have no 

other choice but to resign. This I am doing by the present letter. 

During their struggle against the seven deputies, the Bolsheviks 

had carried new positions and considerably widened and deepened 

their influence among the workers. The Party had not wavered,. 

and it emerged victorious and strengthened. The split in the 

fraction and the creation of an independent Bolshevik fraction was 

discussed by thousands of workers, and the fact that such questions. 

obtained wide publicity was of extreme organisational and political 

importance. The campaign in support of the " six " resulted in an 

influx of workers into the ranks of the Party, and the whole of our 

Party work was infused with new vigour. Many revolutionary 

workers, who until then had no clear notion of the essence of the 

Party differences and inclined towards the Menshevik-Liquidators, 

joined the Bolsheviks as the result of the information gained during 

this period. 

Fundamentally the question of the split was the general question 
of how the Party organisation "shduld be built up. By supporting 
our Bolshevik "six," the workers showed that they had chosen their 
path, the path which conducted the Russian proletariat to the final 

Chapter XIV 


The First Acts of the Fraction — Sabotage by the " Seven " — Reinforc- 
ing Duma Work — The Eight-Hour Bill — The Disintegration of the 
Mcnshevik Fraction 

The " six " had, in reality, existed as an independent fraction since 
the first day of the autumn session of 1913, when, after presenting 
our demands to the Alensheviks, we refused to carry on joint work. 
From that day forward, the " six " and the " seven " held separate 
meetings and on only a couple of occasions combined to discuss the 
appointing of official speakers for the fraction in the Duma. At 
the end of October we formally announced the creation of an 
independent Bolshevik fraction. 

At the first meeting of the fraction, officials were elected and 
questions of organisation settled. Alalinovsky was elected 
chairman, Petcovsky vice-chairman, Samoylov treasurer, and Roz- 
mirovich secretary. The " six " assumed the name " Russian 
Social-Democratic Workers' Fraction," stressing the word 
" Workers' " which distinguished them from the JNIcnsheviks. 

Until premises could be secured, the fraction held its meetings 
and received visitors at my apartment in Shpalernaya Street. 
Later on special premises were rented ; we obtained some furni- 
ture, engaged an attendant, published the address in the news- 
paper and frcjm then on received our visitors and did other business 
there. All expenses connected with the fraction were equally 
borne by the " six " ; each of us paid monthly about twenty-five 
to thirty rubles. 

The Presidium of the Duma tried in every possible way to 
prevent the formation of the Bolshevik fraction. And since 
official registration was necessary in order to obtain the same rights 
as the other Duma fractions (to receive papers and send repre- 
sentatives to the commissions, etc.), Rodzyanko attempted to 
■pf;stpone registration as long as he could. He declared : " Tiiere 
cannot be two Social-Democratic fractions in the State Duma, 
therefore the six workers' deputies will be registered as 
' independent ' — i.e. non-fraction." 

The other members of the Presidium supj)orlcd their ciiairman, 



referring to the practice of foreign parliaments where, they asserted, 
there was no such precedent. But according to the Duma rules any 
group of deputies was entitled to form a fraction, and therefore 
after some procrastfnation the Duma was forced to recognise us. 

Meanwhile the Menshevik " seven " did all that they could to 
hamper our work. As soon as we left the fraction they announced 
ofUcially in the Duma that any interpellation or declaration which 
was not signed by Chkheidze or his deputy did not emanate from 
Social Democrats. The " seven " would hear of no joint action. On 
leaving the fraction, we proposed to the Mensheviks to arrange 
jointly in future our representation on commissions and any 
other Duma work. This offer was made to meet the wishes of 
those groups of workers who believed that in face of the Black 
Hundred Duma, the " six " and " seven " should combine on 
certain questions. The Mensheviks, however, who uAtil then had 
s4iouted so volubly about unity, absolutely refused to make any 
sort of agreement. 

Our personal relations with the " seven " became strained to the 
point of hostility ; we no longer greeted or spoke to them for 
some tirne. Chkheidze, in the name of the " seven," declared that 
they would treat us like any other Duma fraction and would add 
their signatures to our interpellations on the same basis as they 
did for the Cadets, Trudoviks, etc. Eventually it turned out that 
they treated us worse than they did their neighbours on the Right. 

At the request of the fraction, I collected signatures for oije of 
our first interpellations — I believe it was on the question of 
workers' insurqjice in State enterprises. I had already obtained 
several signatures from the Trudoviks and even from the Cadets 
when I asked Chkheidze and he refused. The other members of 
the " seven " did likewise. 

Professing to act in the name of fourteen Social-Democratic 
deputies, the " seven " had sent representatives to three newly- 
formed Duma commissions dealing with the press, the police and 
public meetings. They had also refused to divide with us the 
representation on the budget commission. The time had come, 
however, when the Menshev4ks were forced to oiTer to come to 
terms on th.e question of parficipation in commissions. Before the 
closing of the Duma for the Christmas recess, several new com- 
missions were formed on which the Mensheviks were unable to 
obtain representation, because by that time our fraction was 
formally registered and only fra'ctions of more than ten members 
were entitled to be represented. 

The Mensheviks then requested us to send joint representatives 
to these commissions. Naturally enough, we declined this offer 


and agreed to negotiate only on condition that the " seven " divided 
• -with us the seats that they had previously captured. To make 
terms with the Mensheviks only when it suited them meant to 
revert to the state of things which existed before the split. The 
Mensheviks replied that they declined on principle to open any 
general negotiations with us and absolutely refused to consider 
the reappointment of representatives on the Duma commis- 

After the formation of an independent fraction, the work of our 
'' six " became much wider in its scope. The break with the 
" seven " greatly increased our tasks and every workers' deputy 
was required to display greater energy. We were only able to 
accomplish our duties because of the support which we received 
from the majority of the workers, and this support was forthcoming. 
The very split called forth a strong tide which brushed aside the 
Mensheviks and greatly strengthened the Bolshevik deputies. 
The greater activity of our fraction after the split attracted to us 
still more support from the workers. This was a period of great 
working-class activity and all branches of our work both inside 
and outside the Duma were invigorated and enlivened. Money 
streamed in for revolutionary objects and there was a considerable 
increase in the number of visitors to the fraction and to the editorial 
offices of the newspaper. The scope of the Duma wqrk became 
different too. 

The autumn session of the State Duma was very short, lasting 
only six weeks. Even during that period, however, in spite of 
the fact that we had to devote considerable time and energy to 
fighting the " seven " and to internal Party matters, we got through 
an enormous amount of work. During the six weeks we introduced 
the following thirteen interpellations : (i) on the press, (2) on the 
use of agents-provocateurs to secure the arrest of the Social- 
Democratic fraction in the Second Duma, (3) on strikes, (4) on 
trade unions, (5) on insurance questions, (6) on the arrest of 
workers' representatives, (7) on the press (second interpellation), 
(8) on strikes (second time), (9) on the fine imposed upon me by the 
city governor, (10) on strikes at the Obukhov works, (11) on the 
non-insurance of workers in State undertakings, (12) on mining 
disasters, (13) on measures for combating the plague. 

Most of these questions were introduced independently by our 
fraction after the formal split had occurred. In addition the " six " 
made speeches in every important debate during the twenty-four 

The intolerance of the Black Hundred Duma majority towards our 
speeches and interpellations still further increased after the split, 



Purishkevich complained that the workers' deputies were over- 
whelming the Duma with interpellations and the Duma invariably 
denied the urgency of our questions and turned them over to 
commissions to be buried. The Black Hundreds were determined 
to prevent us making use of the Duma tribune. With the close 
collaboration of the Cadet, Maklakov, they drew up new regula- 
tions under which speeches on interpellations were limited to ten 
minutes, also restricting the right to introduce such interpellations 
as it was obvious that the Duma would not accept. These 
new regulations were designed expressly against the " six," since 
our interpellations were only introduced for the purpose of revolu- 
tionary agitation. 

Our fraction frequently met representatives of the St. Peters- 
burg workers to discuss all aspects of Duma work. They formed 
for this purpose a " workers' commission " which regularly held 
joint meetings with the fraction. Although this regularity was 
often interrupted by the arrest of visitors to the fraction's rooms, 
new comrades came forward to replace them. The workers' 
commission did not restrict its activities to the discussion of Duma 
questions ; it became the vehicle for the transmission of Party 
instructions to the illegal organisations. 

The workers' commission met for the first time at the end of 
January 1914, when the winter session opened ; various sub- 
committees were formed to discuss the different bills and inter- 
pellations. Animated discussions took place on every point ; bills 
were discussed both from the aspect of their significance under the 
tsarist regime and of how the question would be dealt with after 
the revolution. Were it possible to re-establish now all the details 
of the meetings of the commission, it would be found that many 
proposals and resolutions discussed then are now realised in the 
form of laws. 

The eight-hours bill, which was of special importance in our 
Duma work, was drafted with the aid of the " workers' commis- 
sion." Was this so-called " positive legislative work " to which our 
Party was definitely opposed ? Most decidedly not. In the first 
place, the eight-hour day was not one of those partial demands 
which the Liquidators considered could be realised through 
the Duma ; it was one of the three fundamental slogans under 
which the Party mobilised the workers for the struggle. The intro- 
duction of the bill into the Duma provided an opportunity for the 
proclamation of one of our fighting revolutionary slogans from 
the Duma tribune itself. The bill had nothing to do with " positive 
work," since there was not the slightest chance that it would be 
accepted by the Black Hundred majority. On the other hand, the 


very failure of the bill could be made the occasion of further 
revolutionary agitation. 
Praz'da published the text of the bill and stated : 

Of course we do not for a moment expect that the Fourth Duma 
will pass this bill. The eight-hour day is one of the fundamental 
demands of the workers in the present period. When this question 
is raised in the Duma the other parties will be forced to declare their 
attitude towards it and this will assist our struggle for the eight-hour 
day outside the Duma. We appeal to all workers to endorse the bill. 
Let it be introduced not only in the name of a group of deputies, 
but in the name of tens of thousands of workers ! 

To-day all the provisions of the bill seem commonplace enough, 
but it was very different under tsarism. The working class devoted 
immense efforts to the struggle for the eight-hour day, which they 
were unable to obtain until they had overthrown and destroyed 
the entire autocratic regime. The sacrifices made by the Russian, 
proletariat during the revolution were also made for the right to 
w ork not more than eight hours a day. 

In order to understand the enormous impression which the 
publication of this bill made on the w^orkers, it is necessary to 
visualise the conditions of that time. The workers of St. Petersburg 
and other cities overwhelmed our fraction and the editors of 
Pravda with resolutions, warmly welcoming the introduction of 
the bill. The following is characteristic : it bore 319 signatures. 

We, a group of workers from various shops at the Putilov works, 
warmly thank our six workers' deputies of the Russian Social- 
Democratic Workers' Fraction for the bill which they have drafted 
and placed on the agenda of the State Duma to establish a maximum 
working-day of eight hours. We all endorse this bill and whole- 
heartedly support the deputies elected from the workers' electoral 

The introduction of this bill further increased the sympathy 
hetwcen the workers and our " six " and lessened that between 
them and the Mcnsheviks. The " seven " were rapidly losing the 
last vestiges of their influence and very soon became altogether 
divorced from the workers. The demands, needs and requests 
of the workers were addressed to our fraction and the Mensheviks 
were ignored. Tiie members of the '* seven " made their usual 
speeches in the Duma, but they were compelled to admit among 
themselves that they had entirely lost the support of the working 

In the archives of the police departnicnt there is a document 
describing a meeting of the Mensl\evik " seven " held at the end of 
January 191 4, vi'hich reveals clearly that the Mensheviks had 


already begun to realise where their policy had landed them. 
Chkhenkeli reproached his fraction because " it had lost all 
influence, deserted the political life of the country, broken its 
connections with the workers and finally forced the most active 
members to leave the fraction and consequently brought the work 
of the fraction to a standstill." Tulyakov spoke in a similar strain : 
" The fraction calls itself Social-Democratic but it does not reflect 
the life and aspirations of the workers either in the State Duma 
or in the press. The fraction has, for political, police and ethical 
considerations, abandoned the workers and landed itself in a 
state of ' splendid isolation.' " 

It is quite possible that the reports of the secret police do not 
correctly reproduce the words of the Menshevik deputies, but in any 
case it is beyond dispute that the " seven " began to disintegrate 
immediately after the split. Early in January, the deputy Buryanov 
left the Menshevik fraction. He regarded himself as a Plek- 
hanovist and during the Christmas recess he visited Plekhanov in 
order to learn more precisely his views on the split. He sent the 
following letter to Chkheidze on his return : 

Of course I understand, as you probably do too, that the causes of 
the split in the Duma fraction lie outside of the Duma. In these 
circumstances the complete unity of Social-Democrats in the Duma 
will be achieved only when there is unity among the advanced elements 
of the Russian class-conscious workers. Whilst striving for this 
complete unity in the future, I consider that united action on the 
part of Social-Democratic deputies is imperative at the present 
moment. This can only be obtained on the basis of equality between 
the Social-Democratic Fraction and the Social-Democratic Workers' 
Fraction. Up to now we have unfortunately rejected this method of 
avoiding a split in the fraction. I hope that, since my leaving the 
Social-Democratic Fraction will equalise the two wings numerically, 
you will revise your views as to the possibility of joint work on a 
basis of equality. 

Buryanov did not proceed further with his protest but adopted 
a middle position, declaring that he would support both fractions in 
any activity which was " consistent with a Marxist line of policy." 

Soon afterwards the Mensheviks lost another member when 
they were forced to expel Mankov for too obvious deviations to 
the Right. Thus while the Mensheviks disintegrated and lost the 
confi,dence of the workers, the influence of our " six " increased 
and we were enthusiastically supported by the revolutionary 


Chapter XV 


The Growth of the Strike Movement — Strike on the Occasion of the 
Interpellation on the Lena Events — Poisoning of Women at the 
Provodnik Factor}' and at the Treugolnik — Interpellation Concern- 
ing the Treugolnik — The " Explanations " of the Government — 
Answer to the Government's Explanations— Protest Strike of 120,000 
— The Lock-out — Demonstration at the Funeral — Purishkevich appeals 

for Executions 

In March 1914, a number of events took place in St. Petersburg 
which called forth a remarkably strong outburst of the workers' 
movement. A number of political strikes broke out in St. Peters- 
burg early in that month. The workers protested by one-day 
strikes against the persecution of the workers' press, the systematic 
rejection of our fraction's interpellations by the Duma, the perse- 
cution and suppression of trade unions and educational associa- 
tions, etc. The movement spread all over the city and many works 
were involved. The workers also protested against a secret con- 
ference arranged by Rodzyanko, the Duma president, for the 
purpose of increasing armaments. Representatives from all the 
Duma fractions except the Trudoviks and Social-Democrats were 
invited, and when we denounced this fresh expenditure of the 
people's money on armaments we were supported by a strike of 
30.000 workers. 

Throughout March the movement continued to grow and it 
received a fresh impetus on the anniversary of the shooting of 
the Lena workers. The government had not answered our 
previous interpellation calling for an investigation, although it was 
passed by the I^uma. In view of the impending anniversary, we 
decided to introduce a new interpellation calling upon the govern- 
ment to expedite its reply. 

All Party organisations were preparing for the anniversary' 
demonstration and ctmducting propaganda at all factories and 
works. A proclamation was issued by the St. Petersburg Commit- 
tee calling upon the workers to demonstrate in the streets in 
support of the interpellation, and workers from a number of 
factories decided to proceed in a body to the State Duma. 

'J he demonstration was fixed for March 13, ami tiic strike 



began in the Vyborg district. At the Novy Aivaz works the night 
shift left off at 3 a.m. and in the morning they were joined by the 
other workers. The strike quickly spread through tlie city and 
over 60,000 men participated in the movement, 40,000 of whom 
were metal-workers. Resolutions of protest were carried at the 
factories and Party members from amongst the workers spoke 
reminding the workers of the Lena shootings and explaining the 
general tasks of the revolutionary struggle. 

The workers came out of the factories and works singing 
revolutionary songs and unfurling their red flags. The Lessner 
workers advanced towards the Duma from the Vyborg direction 
but were held up by a police patrol on the Liteiny Bridge. Another 
crowd managed to cross the Neva on the ice and, carrying a red 
nag, proceeded towards the Duma buildings along the Vosk- 
resensky quay. There the demonstrators were attacked by 
mounted police who started t^ use their whips ; the crowd replied 
with stones and one of the police was wounded. Encounters with 
the police also occurred in other parts of the city and demonstra- 
tions took place in the centre, along the Nevsky Prospect, 

The strike was continued the next day, when several more 
factories joined in. More demonstrations took place involving 
over 65,000 workers. 

This movement was immediately followed by another strike 
wave caused by the poisoning of working women in rubber 
factories. The new strike wave was considerably stronger than the 
previous one, both as to the number of strikers and the extent of 
the street actions. 

Information as to the poisoning of women workers was first 
received by our fraction from the workers of the Provodnik 
goloshes factory, the biggest in Riga. The workers there were being 
systematically poisoned by the fumes given off by a low quality 
polish used for finishing off the goloshes. Some women were only 
slightly affected and recovered after a fainting fit and short illness,, 
but there were some fatal cases. Working up to thirteen hours a. 
day, for a beggarly maximum of seventy-five kopeks, undermined 
the workers' constitutions with the result that they were unable to- 
withstand the poisonous fumes. 

The women workers applied several times to the manager and 
to the factory inspector jfor improved working conditions and in 
particular requested that the use of the dangerous polish be dis- 
continued. The reply of the authorities was that anyone who- 
suflPered from weak nerves could leave. Finally, after another 
outbreak, the workers at the Provodnik asked the fraction to help 
in forcing the administration to move in this matter. 


We sent Malinovskv to Riga to investigate and, on the basis of 
the information which he collected, an interpellation to the 
Minister for Trade and Industry was drafted and introduced into 
the Duma. It began as follows : 

Physical degeneration and frequent deaths of the workers are a 
common result of the capitalist exploitation of the proletariat. The 
political disfranchisement of the Russian workers and their weakness 
in the face of combinations of powerful capitalists who control all 
politicians in office, renders the condition of the working class worse 
than that of serfs. An example of these conditions was provided by 
the incidents at the Lena Goldfields, where workers were fed on 
horseflesh, evicted, turned out into the taiga and finally shot. 
And now a special investigation conducted at Riga by Malinovsky, 
a member of our fraction, has revealed a similar case of capitalist 
ruthlessness and similar passivity on the part of the authorities. The 
biggest industrial undertaking in Riga, the Provodnik rubber 
factory, which employs some 13,000 workers — mainly women — was 
the scene of this new tragedy. . . . 

We insisted that the interpellation was urgent, but before it 
could be placed on the Duma agenda, similar events had hap- 
pened in St. Petersburg itself. 

On March 12 I was called aw'ay from a meeting of the inter- 
pellation commission in the Duma to answer the telephone. There 
one of the workers who assisted our fraction told me hurriedly that 
the workers of the Treugolnik factory were asking for a deputy to 
call on them, numerous cases of poisoning having occurred and 
the workers being in a state of panic. 

I at once went along to the factory and was met at the gates by 
a crowd of excited workers. They began firing questions at me, 
but as I knew nothing I tried to get them to tell me what had 
taken place. It was difficult, as each woman worker explained the 
poisoning in her own way, some even calling it a plague, and mean- 
while patient after patient was being carried to the first-aid room. 

After hearing several accounts I was able to gather what hail 
taken piace at the factory. That morning a new polish had been 
issued for goloshes, the main constituent of which was a poor 
substitute for benzine, which emitted poisonous gases. Shortly 
afterwards scores of women workers began to faint. Terrible 
scenes followed ; in some cases the poisoning was so strong that 
the victims became insane, while in others blood ran from the nose 
ahd mouth. The small, badly equipped first-aid room was packed 
with bodies and fresh cases were taken into the dining-room, while 
all who were able to move were sent out of the factory. "If they 
drop down there, the police will pick them up "-so ran the 
cynical excuse of the management. 


About 200 cases of poisoning (only twenty were men) occurred 
in a department employing about 1,000. Most of the 13,000 
workers employed at the factory were women and they were 
exploited most callously. The earnings of a goloshes worker were 
from forty to ninety kopeks for a ten-hour day ; there was no 
dinner interval and overtime was common, while the owners of the 
Treugolnik factory obtained a profit of ten million rubles a 

Towards the end of the day some thousands of workers assem- 
bled in the courtyard of the factory and demanded that the 
management issue a statement as to the number of victims, their 
names and the causes of the disaster. Among the crowd were , 
many relatives of the workers affected and all were in a state of 
great excitement. The management refused to give any informa- 
tion to the workers, but sent for the police. Whilst one of the 
workers was making a speech from the factory wall, the police 
arrived and drove the crowd out of the gates. The workers went 
home, anxious about the fate of relatives and indignant at the 
bosses who were poisoning people for the sake of making bigger 

On the following day fresh cases of poisoning occurred in 
another department of the factory and the first-aid room was again 
full of suffering women. The "vvomen workers protested that it 
was impossible to continue working in the poisonous atmosphere, 
but the manager callously replied : " This is nonsense, you must 
get used to such an atmosphere. We cannot discard that polish 
because of a few accidents, we must fulfil our contracts. You will 
get used to it." 

After work a meeting attended by several thousand workers was 
held near the factory gates. Various suggestions were made, but 
before any decision could be taken, a strong police detachment 
arrived and began to disperse the crowd. Stones and pieces of 
concrete were thrown at the police and two were injured. 

When further workers were taken ill on the next day, the 
patience of the workers reached its breaking point. They left 
work in all departments and streamed into the yard ; without 
previous arrangements a strike was declared. About ten thousand 
strikers gathered around the factory gates and approving shouts 
interrupted the vehement speeches which were delivered. Whilst 
they were discussing the demands that should be presented to the 
management, the mounted police appeared and rode into the 
crowd flourishing their whips. The workers resisted and stones 
and bricks were thrown. Police reinforcements soon arrived and 
charged the crowd with drawn sabres, driving them in all direc- 


tions and forcing some into the Obvodny Canal. There were 
casualties on both sides and many workers were arrested. 

To avoid fresh disturbances, the management announced that 
the factory would be closed for several days and warned the 
workers that if further demonstrations occurred, the closing 
would be indefinite. 

On my return from the factory I reported to a special meeting 
of the fraction, which decided to introduce another urgent inter- 
pellation combining this matter with the events at Riga which had 
previously been raised. However, on March 15, a message 
informed us of yet another case of poisoning, this time at the 
Bogdanov tobacco factory. 

In Cabinet Street, where the factory is situated, I was met by 
about two thousand workers who had left their work in panic. I 
entered the factgry gates and learned from the workers that the 
events there were very similar to those which had taken place at 
the Treugolnik. I went to the director of the factory to learn his 
explanation of the poisonings, but his reply was sheer mockery : 
" There is nothing to cause poisoning at this factory. The women 
are poisoned because they have been fasting and eating rotten 
fish. That accounts for the fainting fits." This made it evident 
that the management had already decided to shift the blame on to 
the workers themselves. 

The next day I wrote a detailed account of my visit to the 
factor}' for Pravda and appealed to the workers : "In order to 
prevent these occurrences, the workers must be better organised 
and must set up their own trade union of tobacco workers." 
Many articles appeared in Pravda dealing with these poisonings, 
pointing out that this was only one of the results of the exploita- 
tion of the workers and drawing the necessary political conclusions. 

Cases of poisoning continued to occur at other tobacco fac- 
tories, printing offices, etc. Disease was rampant throughout St. 
Petersburg and the outbreak revealed the almost complete 
absence of medical aid at most St. Petersburg factories. No doctors 
or nurses were available, medicines were deficient and there was 
no room for the casualties. 

Excited workers from the factories aff"ected came to the fraction 
and requested us to visit their factories, to investigate the causes of 
the poisonings and to bring solace to the masses. I had to visit a 
number of works and met everywhere the same picture. The 
panic caused amongst the workers by the immediate danger ot 
being poisoned was accompanied by a deep feeling of resentment 
against the bosses. While it was not possible to establish in all 
cases the real cause of the poisoning, it was evident to all the 


workers that the chief reason for the accidents was profiteering 
on the part of the employers, for the sake of which the most 
ordinary and simple rules of health and labour protection were 

The widespread outbreak of poisoning among the workers had 
repercussions in all branches of society ; bourgeois publicists- 
could not remain silent. It was natural that they should endeavour 
to explain events in their own way and even seek to make capital 
out of them. The staunchest defenders of capitalism, such as the 
yellow Birzhevye Vyedomosty, fully supported the factory owners 
and declared that the true culprits were the revolutionary parties, 
which tried to set the workers against their employers and force 
them to strike. A calumny was circulated to the effect that a 
" committee of poisoners," operating under the orders of our 
Bolshevik fraction, was working to create disturbances among the 
workers. In a vain attempt to avoid its obvious responsibility for 
the illness of hundreds of women workers, the united bourgeoisie 
used all means, including the foulest, and set its machine of lying 
insinuations into motion. 

Not even the tsarist government, however, ventured to endorse 
the lies of the bourgeois scribblers. The commission set up by the 
Ministry of Trade and Industry recognised that the " prime cause 
of illness among workers in the rubber industry is the inhaling of 
fumes from benzine while at work." Replying to our interpella- 
tion in the Duma, an official of the Ministry of Trade, Litvinov- 
Falinsky, was forced to admit that the poisonings were caused 
by benzine of bad quality and that these poisonings differed 
little from the nicotine poisonings at tobacco factories. With 
regard to the spread of the epidemic, Litvinov acknowledged 
that it was due to the stifling atmosphere in the factories, the 
weakness and exhaustion and strained n'erves of the workers.. 
Litvinov, of course, did not forget to refer to mass psychosis 
and hysteria which, it was alleged, played an important part in 
the spread of the disease. 

This debate took place in a very strained atmosphere. Every- 
one in the Duma knew that on the previous day mass strikes, in 
protest against the poisonings, had broken out in St. Petersburg. 
More than 30,000 workers were out and there had already been 
a number of demonstrations and encounters with the police. While 
the discussion was taking place in the Duma, more workers left 
the factories and joined the strikers. The workers of St. Petersburg 
were electrified and excited, and their excitement penetrated into 
the Taurida Palace, making the Duma Black Hundreds nervous. 
The Black Hundreds rightly interpreted our speeches at that 


moment as appeals to the workers for further action and they 
Avere afraid and wished to gag us. 

After Rodzyanko had cut short the speech of the first speaker, 
TuUakov, it was my turn to speak, but I was not allowed to remain 
long on my feet. My speech was continually interrupted by shouts 
from the benches on the Right and by warnings from the president, 
Rodzyanko, who at length chose an opportune moment and 
stopped me in the middle of a sentence. Finally the debate was 
adjourned to the following sitting. 

Among the workers the ferment increased and on the following 
day nearly 120,000 were involved in the strike movement. Party 
cells had carried on preliminar}' agitation at all factories and the 
police had endeavoured to forestall any action. Mass searches 
were made in the workers' districts and scores of workers were 
arrested. The secret police paid special attention to the leaders of 
trade unions and insurance societies who, in most cases, were 
active Party members. Despite this attempt to comb out all 
leaders, the movement assumed such dimensions that the police 
were unable to cope with it. 

Demonstrations were held all over the city. The workers 
marched through the streets singing revolutionary songs ; the 
police, both mounted and foot, flocked to the working-class 
districts and manv collisions occurred. That day the secret police 
reported no less than thirteen big demonstrations in various parts 
of the city. During one encounter, when the crowd attempted to 
rescue a worker who had been arrested, the police drew their 
revolvers and fired on the crowd. A hand to hand fight followed 
and, despite a stubborn resistance, the police, armed with sabres 
and whips, finally gained the upper hand over the unarmed 
Avorkers. Similar skirmishes took place in other districts and the 
■demonstrations were distinguished by the determination and 
■vigour of the workers. 

The government and the capitalists sensed the threat behind 
this movement and at once passed to the counter-attack. On 
March 20 the Manufacturers' Association declared a lock-out 
which directly involved 70,000 workers. All the biggest works were 
clo.-;ed and the Assistant Minister for the Navy ordered the Baltic 
shipyards to stop work. It was announced that the works would 
remain closed for a week and in the event of further strikes there 
would be mass dismissals. Police patrols were posted at all works. 
.. The government promptly came to the assistance of the 
employers in this open war on the workers and suppressed the 
metal-workers' union in order to weaken the workers' resistance. 
ijy order of the city governor tlie activities of the union were 


suspended " pending a further decision," which meant until the 
St. Petersburg proletariat again succeeded in wresting from tsarism 
the right to restore their union to life. The offensive against the 
workers proceeded along the whole front. 

The lock-out, which threw tens of thousands of workers on to 
the streets, caused a great deal of commotion among the St. 
Petersburg proletariat and some alarm in bourgeois circles. This 
alarm explains the decision of the municipal authorities to allocate 
100,000 rubles for the organisation of soup kitchens for those 
out of work. It is characteristic that this decision was repealed as 
soon as the labour troubles were somewhat allayed, although there 
were as many unemployed in St. Petersburg as before. 

Representatives from the factories and works involved called 
at our fraction headquarters and requested us to take measures to 
end the lock-out which doomed thousands of workers to starvation. 
The organised workers of the Narva district sent in the following 
resolution : 

We regard the lock-out as a provocative challenge from the 
Manufacturers' Association. We call on the workers' deputies of the 
Social-Democratic Workers' Fraction to question the Minister of 
Trade and Industry and demand an answer within three days. We 
also propose that all employed workers lend monetary assistance to 
their comrades who are being victimised. 

As in previous lock-outs, our fraction organised a collection 
on behalf of the dismissed workers. At the same time, through the 
columns of Pravda, we called on the workers of those factories 
where work had been stopped " for an indefinite period " to sue 
their employers for a fortnight's wages in lieu of discharge. 
Pravda warned the workers to watch carefully that the manage- 
ment did not insert in their pay-books the phrase " I have no 
further claims," which if signed inadvertently by the worker would 
prevent him obtaining justice. 

On March 21, protest demonstrations were again held in the 
Narva district and several arrests were made. At the same time 
another demonstration in connection with the funeral of two 
workers, who were killed'by an explosion at an electrical station, 
revealed the revolutionary enthusiasm of the St. Petersburg 
proletariat. More than 3,000 workers attended the funeral and 
many wreaths bearing revolutionary inscriptions were laid on the 

Closely watched by the police, the workers walked eighteen 
kilometres from the Obukhov hospital to the Preobrazhensky 
cemetery. Detachments of mounted police were posted at the 
gates of every works on the route to prevent more workers joining 


the procession ; nevertheless the crowd continually increased. 

On the previous day, the workers had asked me to attend the 
funeral. I did so, and as the coffins were being lowered into the 
grave I began my speech. " New victims have been torn from the 
vast family of the St. Petersburg workers. What do the stony- 
hearted capitalists care ? " A police inspector approached me and 
demanded that I should stop ; I ignored him and continued : 

Exhausting toil, noxious gases in the workshop, premature death, 
and on top of all this, lock-outs — such is the lot of the working 
class. Lately the victims claimed by capitalism have become more 
numerous. Explosions, poisonings. . . ." 

Before I could finish the sentence, the mounted police rode into 
the crowd and the whips began to hiss ; the crowd was forced 
back, and left the cemetery singing the revolutionary funeral 
march. Several hundred workers returned by rail and, after 
singing revolutionary songs in the train, they raised me shoulder 
high at St. Petersburg station and carried me out into the square. 
Police arrived from all directions and quickly dispersed the crowd. 

I hurried from the station to the Duma where I was due to take 
part in the postponed debate on the poisonings. But here too I 
was unable to finish my speech. Rodzyanko interrupted it just 
as the police inspector had done at the cemetery. 

The Black Hundred majority had decided that no Social- 
Democratic deputy should be allowed to speak on that day. 
When, immediately after me, one of the " seven " protested against 
the calumny about the poisonings, Rodzyanko stopped him and 
with the approval of the Duma majority suspended him for two 
sessions. This created an uproar on the Left and all the members 
of the two Social-Democratic fractions demanded the right to 
speak to protest against this action. Rodzyanko, however, refused 
and, taking advantage of the late hour, closed the sitting. 

A similar scene occurred during the next Duma sitting. Zamy- 
slovsky, one of the most rabid of the Black Hundreds and a leader 
of pogroms, repeated the vile calumny about a " committee of 

Shouts of " Liar ! agent-provocateur ! " arose from the Left ; 
Rodzyanko was powerless and unable to restore order. W^e con- 
tinued to protest while the Rights applauded their leader and 
shouted threats at us. 

Taking advantage of a lull in the riot, Rodzyanko suspended 
Chkheidze for two sessions and allowed Purishkevich to address 
the house. Purishkevich continued the provocation : '* The 
Treugolnik and Provodnik factories have hitherto been regarded, 
so to speak, as ' Black Hundred ' ; it was difficult to persuade the 


workers there to strike, so the friends of those who sit there " — 
here Purishkevich waved his hand towards our benches — " resorted 
to those measures. ..." Shouts of " Get out," " Remove him," 
drowned the rest of the sentence. He continued : " Since this 
crime is unparalleled and strikes at the very foundation of stable 
government and social life, these gentry " — pointing to us — 
" should be tried by court martial and hanged." 

Whilst any of our workers' deputies would undoubtedly have 
been suspended for using words much milder than these, Purish- 
kevich was allowed to pour out what abuse he liked. He resumed 
his seat without the slightest remark from the president but 
amidst the jeers of the Left. 

The whole episade had assumed such importance in St. 
Petersburg that even the Black Hundred Duma dared not reject 
our interpellation. But they defeated our proposal for a special 
parliamentary commission to inquire into the causes of the 
poisoning by an overwhelming majority, and turned the interpella- 
tion itself over to the general commission which had already had 
so much experience in burying the most urgent of Duma inter- 

The fact that the Duma did not reject the motion uncondition- 
ally did not hamper the government or the erriployers in their 
general offensive against the workers. After keeping the workers 
unemployed for some time, the owners lifted the lock-out, but, 
when reinstating their employees, carefully sifted out all the 
*' unreliable " and " troublesome " elements. 

Chapter XVI 


Prosecution for a Duma Speech — Obstructing Goremykin — Suspension 
of the Left Deputies — Demonstrations and Strikes — The Counter- 
Offensive of the Black Hundreds — The Liquidators Support the 
Liberals — Declarations by the Three Fractions on the Termination of 
the Suspension — The Importance of the Duma Obstruction 

The general political situation throughout Russia and, in particu- 
lar, the situation within the labour movement, invariably deter- 
mined the forms which the struggle inside the Duma would take. 
It is this consideration which gave special interest to the obstruc- 
tion in the State Duma in April 1914, as a result of which all 
Social-Democrats and Trudoviks were suspended for fifteen 
sittings. The incidents which occurred in the Duma directly- 
reflected the development of the working-class struggle, which, as 
often happens, temporarily rendered the liberal parties more 
radical. The whole episode, however, revealed another normal 
feature of liberal tactics. As soon as the Duma position became 
sornewhat acute, the Liberal parties quietly dropped their opposi- 
tion and resuihed their place in the ranks of the counter-revolu- 
tionary Duma majority. 

The immediate cause of the obstruction was the prosecution of 
Chkheidze for a speech made in the Duma. On the initiative 
of Maklakov, the Alinister of the Interior, the Council of Ministers 
decided to prosecute Chkheidze for referring to the advantages 
of a republican regime. The tsarist government had frequently 
prosecuted deputies in court or by administrative order for 
activity outside the Duma, but this was the first case of prose- 
cution for a speech delivered within the Duma itself. This was a 
direct attempt by tlie government to destroy freedom of speech 
from the Duma tribune, a freedom which was already restricted 
by the actions of the Black Hundred presidium. If it succeeded, 
it meant that the entire Left would be crushed. 

The Liberal parties, the Cadets and the Progressives, were also 
alarmed by the prosecution of Chkheidze. They were not con- 
cerned with the fate of the Social-Democratic deputies, but 
regarded the event as an attack on the " constitutional guaran- 
tees " to which they clung as the principal achievement of the 



" emancipation struggle." Some Cadets, stimulated by the 
unrest in the country, even began to talk about refusing to vote 
the budget, whilst the Progressives introduced a bill on the 
immunity of deputies for speeches made in the Duma. 

Rodzyanko at once took counter measures. After having con- 
sulted Goremykin, the newly appointed Premier, he arranged 
for a series of clauses to be introduced into the bill in com- 
mittee which imposed still greater penalties for " abuse of 
freedom of speech." These clauses were particularly directed 
against the extreme Left and entirely destroyed the value of the 
rest of the bill. In fact it handed over the Social-Democrats and 
Trudoviks to the tender mercies of the government. 

Since the Black Hundred Duma held up even this distorted 
version of the " freedom " of speech bill, the Social-Democratic 
fraction decided to introduce a motion proposing that all Duma 
work be suspended until the discussion and passing of the bill 
dealing with the immunity of deputies. This, however, was too 
drastic for the Liberals, and so they introduced another motion 
which proposed to postpone discussion of the budget until the bill 
was passed. This motion was, of course, defeated, somewhat to the 
relief of the Liberals themselves. The two Social-Democratic 
fractions and the Trudoviks, however, refused to surrender and 
planned to organise obstruction in the Duma to prevent discussion 
on the budget. In view of the rise of the revolutionary spirit in the 
country, such a demonstration within the Duma was of far greater 
importance than a dozen or two of the most radical speeches 
directed against the government. 

The first budget debates coincided with the second anniversary 
of Pravda, when our Party organised " Labour Press Day." The 
demonstrations held by the St. Petersburg workers,. the numerous 
resolutions received by the editors and the collections made for 
the Pravda " iron " fund, the wide circulation of the jubilee num- 
ber of Pravda, of which 130,000 copies were sold, made us abso- 
lutely sure that our demonstration in the Duma would assist in 
the new forward movement of the masses and would be supported 
by the entire working class. 

Before the opening of the sitting on April 22, the two Social- 
Democratic fractions and the Trudoviks introduced a resolution to 
postpone the budget discussion until after the freedom of 
speech bill had become law. The Duma listened impatiently to 
speeches from the representatives of the three fractions and then 
decided by a huge majority to start the debate on the budget 
immediately. During the speech of the representatives of the 
budget commission, the members of the three fractions left the 


hall to discuss their further action. We decided to return in time 
for the expected speech of Bark, the Minister of Finance, and to 
prevent him from speaking. 

Instead of Bark, Goremykin, the new President of the Council 
of Ministers, made his way to the tribune. Goremykin, an 
elderly tsarist dignitary appointed in place of KokoN'tsev, because 
the latter was considered too soft-hearted and liberal, was charged 
with the task of ruthlessly checking the revolutionary movement, 
which was daily becoming more menacing. Thus our plan 
of obstruction was more appropriate than we had hof)ed ; it 
would now be directed against the head of the government and 
would be a demonstration against tsarism itself. 

Goremykin had barely managed to begin, " Gentlemen, 
members of the State Duma," when pandemonium broke out 
on the benches of the Left, with shouts of " Freedom of speech for 
deputies " rising above the noise. Powerless to stop the noise, 
Rodzyanko apologised to Goremykin and proposed that the 
deputies concerned should be suspended for fifteen sittings. 
Goremykin then left the rostrum, which was ascended in turn by 
the offending deputies, each of whom, according to Duma regula- 
tions, had the right to speak in his own defence before being 
excluded. One by one they protested vehemently and members 
of our " six " seized the opportunity to hurl accusations at the 
government and to reveal the cowardice and impotence of the 

The suspensions followed one another rapidly and any defence 
which lasted too long was unceremoniously cut short by Rodzy- 
anko. Some of the suspended deputies refused to leave the Duma 
hall ; then the procedure was as follows. Rodzyanko adjourned 
the house and during the interval a military detachment entered 
the hall, the soldiers lined the barrier while the officer approached 
the suspended member and demanded his withdrawal. Only then, 
with the words " I submit to force," did the deputy leave the hall. 

This use of force was unprecedented in the history of the Duma ; 
the ministerial benches were full and all the ministers watched 
Rodzyanko's efficient work. After the removal of a deputy, the 
sitting was resumed and then the whole process was re-enacted. 
Finally, when all who had otfended had been removed, Goremykin 
reappeared at the rostrum. Once again, however, he was unable 
to utter a word— the surviving members of the Left fractions 
resumed the obstruction. The Rights demanded " Suspend them 
all," and Rodzyanko again excused himself and the pnKcilure of 
expulsion recommenced. 

For the third time, Goremykin was greeted with the banging of 


desks and shouts from the Left, and it was only after every sur- 
viving member of the three fractions had been suspended and 
removed by force that the president of the Council of Ministers 
was able to begin his speech. He uttered a few incomprehensible 
words about mutual understandings, common work and the 
" regrettable incidents" which had just occurred and was then 
followed by the Minister of Finance, Bark. Freed from the 
" pernicious " speeches of the Left deputies, the Duma settled 
down to the discussion of the budget.' 

The behaviour of the Cadets and Progressives during these 
suspensions was typical of Liberals whose real allegiance was to the 
counter-revolution. But yesterday they had used high-sounding 
phrases about the struggle for freedom of speech, but, far from 
taking part in the obstruction, some even voted for Rodzyanko's 
motion of exclusion. It was true that some abstained from voting, 
but not one was bold enough to vote against. More than that, in 
their press the Cadets went so far as to defend the use of force 
because "... it was not simply brute, physical force, but the 
action of a disciplined body acting under the orders of the head of 
the institution representing the people." The Cadets openly 
revealed their abject flunkeyism towards tsarist autocracy and the 
Black Hundreds. 

But the whole question of obstruction and our suspension was 
in no way decided by the attitude which the Liberals adopted 
towards it. As was the case in all our Duma work, the efficacy of 
our action depended on the support which we could muster among 
the workers. Though the Duma reflected to some extent the 
political struggles which occurred in the country, the question 
had ultimately to be settled at the factories and in the streets and 
not within the walls of the Taurida Palace. 

Our fraction, together with other Party organisations, began to 
prepare workers' demonstrations in connection with the Duma 
events. Through trade unions, educational societies and other 
working-class organisations, in all of which strong Bolshevik cells 
existed, the movement was started. Foreseeing this development, 
the secret police redoubled their activities. Every member of the 
fraction was closely watched and the fraction's rooms were 
besieged by spies. In the evening of the day on which the deputies 
were suspended the secret police arrested six Party members, 
workers who had come to our rooms to discuss the question of 
organ'sing strike action. 

These arrests forced the fraction to take more precautions. 
Representatives of Party organisations were forbidden to visit the 
fraction and our work with Party cells was conducted in strict 


secrecy. We arranged with the comrades from the various 
organisations to meet at a concert in one of the halls where working- 
class concerts and lectures were usually held, and while there 
made the final arrangements for the protest-action. 

The protest strike began on the day after the expulsions, April 
23, and although only about 4,000 workers (mainly printers) 
left work, it was a beginning which flared up into a mass strike 
on the following day. On April 24 the number of strikers had 
swollen to 55,000 and these were joined by another 17,000 on the 
third and fourth days. The movement spread to Moscow where 
over 25,000 men left work. Ever\^vhere the strikes were started 
at meetings, at which protest resolutions were adopted. 

The Manufacturers' Association replied as usual by closing 
down all the big establishments. On April 24 sixteen large works 
were closed and about 25,000 workers discharged. The Manu- 
facturers' Association, which was called the " lock-outers' associa- 
tion," thus revealed itself as an organisation for political as well 
as economic struggle against the workers. Work was resumed at 
most of the factories on April 29, but some employers prolonged 
the lock-out until May 2 in order to punish the workers in 
advance for the anticipated strike on May Day. The capitalists 
thought that they could destroy the revolutionary enthusiasm of 
the working dass by starvation and unemployment, but this was 
not enough for the Black Hundreds, who called for ever more 
severe measures against the workers. 

The reactionary Russkoye Znamya (Russian Banner) with 
cynical frankness proposed that wages should be reduced and that 
all representation of the workers, e.g. in the Duma or on insurance 
bodies, should be abolished. The Black Hundreds were forced to 
acknowledge the existence and growth of revolutionary feeling 
among the masses and they thought that the causes were to be 
found in the agitation carried on by the workers' press and in the 
activity of the Social-Democratic deputies. In a leading article on 
April 26, Russkoye Znamya wrote as follows : 

Since the workers' press, which is entirely controlled by the Social- 
Democratic deputies, was incautiously allowed to develop, very close 
connections have been established between the deputies and the 
workers. A year ago the workers were almost unmoved by events in 
the Duma : Social- Democrats were excluded from meetings, their 
.. friends, escaped convicts, were rearrested and tlieir premises searched, 
and yet the workers remained quiet. Now on the otlier hand, every 
speech in the Duma arouses a response among 200,000 organised 
workers. All live cpjestions in working-class circles are immediately 
re-ech(jed frotii the Duma rostrum, wlience the Social- Democrats 
censure the government ami still further excite the ignorant masses. 


At the same time all utterances of the Social-Democratic deputies 
are taken up by the workers. The objectionable obstruction in the 
Duma organised by the Social-Democrats as a protest against their 
arrogance being Curbed, entailed a mass strike which though only 
partially successful was of considerable extent. It is time to take stock 
of the position and consider the danger of this close connection 
between the cannon fodder and the trouble-makers. 

Russkoye Znamya then proceeded to enumerate its proposals, 
such as deprivation of political rights and wage reductions, since 
in the words of the pogrom-makers " hunger does not lead to 
strikes ; it is only the w^ll-fed who engage in riots." The paper 
then drew the following conclusion : 

Only in this way will calm be restored. It will then not be neces- 
sary to have cavalry regiments galloping about St. Petersburg to 
maintain order in the streets every time the Social-Democrats make a 
demonstration in the Duma. 

It will be noticed that the Black Hundreds correctly estimated 
the importance of the ties which bound the workers' deputies to 
the masses. The existence of these ties was amply demonstrated 
by the support which our activity received from the workers of St. 
Petersburg, Moscov/ and other cities. 

Whilst our fraction and the two others which took part in the 
obstruction received from all quarters messages of approval and 
support, the Cadets were forced to invent all sorts of excuses for 
their behaviour in order to placate their constituents. The most out- 
spoken representative of the Right Cadets, Maklakov,^ the deputy 
for Moscow, complained bitterly that he was obliged to go to 
Moscow and explain why he did not vote against the exclusion of 
the Left deputies. He said : "A new movement of protest is 
sweeping the countryside which ignores our party and which 
regards the lawful channels of protest as discredited." Milyukov, 
the leader of the Cadets, supported him : " If it is true that 
revolutionary tendencies are growing, then it is very regrettable." 
The only object of the Liberals was to hold back the revolution ; 
even in their speeches against the government their chief argu- 
ment was that the government's policy was stimulating and 
provoking the revolution. 

It was at this moment, when the Cadets and their allies, 
the Progressives, were showing their hands so cynically, that the 
Liquidators broached the question of joint action with the 
Liberals. In their press they wrote that the proletariat would be 
only too willing to work with the progressive bourgeois parties. 

■^Not to be confused with the Minister for the Interior — a brother of the 


Having analysed the situation they attempted once again to foist 
on the working class their policy of " freedom of association tor the 
■workers. " The Menshevik Severnaya Rabochaxa Gazeta (Northern 
Workers' News) wrote: "The questions of liberty of speech in 
the Duma and of the immunity of deputies have become the most 
vital in the political life of the country. These questions are 
closely associated with the fundamental demands which were 
fonnulated in August 1912 " (the August Bloc). 

This standpoint was directly opposed by Fravda on the grounds 
that the question of freedom of speech in the Duma, etc., was not 
of fundamental importance for the workers and that the Duma 
could only serve as one of the means of strengthening the revolu- 
tionary struggle. Pravda wrote : 

The Liberals were fresh from the crime of assisting Messrs. 
Rodzyanko and Purishkevich in their attack on the Social-Democrats 
and Trudoviks when they received offers of collaboration from the 
Liquidators. Such offers at this time are gravely prejudicial to 
the interests of the working-class movement. The slogan of the 
moment is not collaboration with the bourgeoisie but forward with 
the revolution despite the hesitations and betrayals of the bour- 
geoisie. The Liquidators may obtain joint action with the bourgeoisie 
inside the Duma, but it is outside that we must seek the true policy. 
. . . The wprking class also accepts " joint action," but on a basis 
which is rejected both by Liberals and Liquidators. 

The attitude of the Mensheviks to the wave of strikes which 
spread over St. Petersburg when the Left deputies were expelled 
from the Duma, was characteristic of their fear of any mass action. 
Confronted with the possibility of revolutionary developments, 
they cojnpletcly lost their heads and attempted to hold back the 

A secret police report reproduces the minutes of a meeting of 
the Menshevik fraction on April 25, at which, in the presence of 
Dan, the question of strikes and demonstrations in St. Petersburg 
was discussed. At the meeting several members expressed the 
opinion that " it was necessary to thank the workers for their 
support and ask them to postpone the strike until May i." The 
resolution adopted by the fraction was framed in that spirit, stating 
that " it was necessary to refrain from striking now in order to 
act with increased vigour on May i." 

'* The same report contains further accounts of meetings of the 
"seven,' ' giving many examples of vacillations and waverings within 
the Menshevik fraction itself. The strength and extent of the 
revolutionary revival had its effect on individual Mensheviks. 
According to the police report, Chkhenkeli argueil that " the 


fraction should discard its old tactics of purely parliamentary work 
and its old slogan of ' preserve the Duma at all costs ' and pass on 
to more revolutionary work." This argument, however, met with 
no support from the other members of the "seven." Chkheidze, 
opposing Chkhenkeli, called on fraction members " to keep their 
heads cool during these difficult times and endeavour to achieve 
something within the limits imposed by the law." 

There is no need to state that such damping down of the strike 
movement during a period of revolutionary enthusiasm could only 
be harmful. The influence of the Mensheviks, however, weakened 
considerably at this tirrie and they were powerless to prevent the 
spread of the movement. Eighty thousand workers participated 
in the protest strike against the exclusion of the Left deputies, 
creating a powerful impression throughout the country. 

Whilst the Left deputies were absent from the Duma, the Liberals 
spoke against the government and introduced motions condemning 
it, but they were in no way able to delay the passing of the budget, 
which was approved in its entirety by the Duma majority. This 
quiet atmosphere delighted the government and all the ministers 
endeavoured to have the estimates of their departments passed 
before the suspended deputies returned. According to newspaper 
reports the Ecclesiastical Department was particularly anxious ; 
one of their chiefs said : " They will return from their enforced 
absence more enraged than ever — they will bite." 

Meanwhile the deputies of the three Left fractions discussed the 
tactics that should be followed when they returned to the Duma. 
Proposals were made to continue the obstruction, to delay debates 
by making very long speeches and, on the other hand, to regard 
the conflict as finished and to resume the usual Duma work. 
Finally the deputies of all the fractions agreed to make a joint 
statement on their return and to have it read in the Duma. 

The statement was drafted and adopted at a joint meeting of the 
three fractions. Despite our precautions we discovered later that 
Rodzyanko was informed by the secret police of the text. Hence 
when the deputies returned to the Duma on May 7 Rodzyanko 
was in the chair and determined to prevent the reading of the 
statement. But we also were prepared. We had arranged for a 
number of speakers, so that if Kerensky, who was entrusted with 
the reading of the statement, was stopped, another speaker could 
continue. A prolonged struggle ensued between the president and 
the Left fractions, but in the end the whole of the statement was 

Thus the return of the suspended deputies to the Dmua was, 
with the involuntary assistance of Rodzyanko, transformed into a 


fresh demonstration against the government and brought to the 
notice of the whole countr}^ 

The April events in the State Duma and the mass response 
which they aroused from the workers played an important part 
in the subsequent strengthening and development of the revolu- 
tionary movement. The eifects were immediately visible in the 
First of May demonstration, which in 1914 far excelled those of 
previous years. In St. Petersburg 250,000 workers struck, in 
Moscow about 50,000, whilst First of I\Iay strikes were organised 
and carried out with exceptional enthusiasm in provincial cities 
where the labour movement had hitherto been relatively weak. 
Everything pointed to the fact that the working class was preparing 
to enter into a decisive struggle with tsarism. The admission of 
Purishkevich, the greatest enemy of the revolution, is significant. 
Speaking in the Duma on May 2, with the impression of the 
May Day strikes fresh in his mind, he said : 

We are witnessing remarkable scenes ; we are passing through a 
period strikingly similar to 1904. If we are not blind we must see 
that despite certain differences there is much in common between 
what is happening now and what took place in 1904. We must draw 
the necessary conclusions. 

This time it w^as not the workers' deputies but Purishkevich 
himself, the leader of the Black Hundreds, who spoke of the 
approach of a new revolutionary' year. This itself demonstrates 
the intensity of the revolutionary movement among the working 

Although the main provisions of the budget had already been 
sanctioned before the deputies returned, we managed to participate 
in the later stages of the debate. Every time we spoke we dealt 
not only with the particular estimate under discussion, but with 
the entire policy of the tsarist government. At the request of the 
fraction, I spoke on the estimates of the Ministry of Education, 
which at that time were arousing great pui^lic interest. 

Kasso, the new Minister of liducation, had initiated a number 
of repressive measures, driving out professors from the univer- 
sities, arresting and banishing students ; he had even arrested a 
number of juveniles from secondary schools for taking part in 
very harmless circles. My speech was based to a large extent on 
material sent by Lenin from Cracow. It was a damning exposure 
of these measures and at the same time it dealt with the hypocrisy 
of the " remedies " proposed by the Cadets and other liberal 

Chapter XVII 


Malinovsky Leaves the Duma — The Fraction Appeals to the Workers 

— Malinovsky, agent-provocateur — Malinovsky and the Secret Police — ■ 

Arrest of Sverdlov and Stalin — Why Malinovsky left the Duma — 

Malinovsky 's Trial 

During the afternoon of the day after the return to the Duma of 
the suspended deputies, Malinovsky entered Rodzyanko's office, 
threw a document on the table and said : " Good-bye." 

Rodzyanko asked what this meant, and Malinovsky answered : 
" Read that — you will see for yourself," adding hurriedly that he 
had resigned and was going abroad. 

Muranov, the only member of our fraction present in the Duma 
at the time, at once communicated with the fraction, but by the 
time we had met in the fraction's rooms, Rodzyanko had already 
read Malinovsky 's statement of resignation in the Duma. 

Malinovsky's resignation came as a bolt from the blue ; until 
then there had been no hint that he contemplated any such action. 
The resignation of his seat- without the consent of the Party and 
without making any statement to the Party was such a flagrant 
and extraordinary breach of Party discipline that we could not 
imagine the cause. 

The fraction instructed Comrade Petrovsky to call on Malinov- 
sky and demand that he come immediately to the fraction and 
explain his action. Malinovsky refused, stating that he was 
too excited to be able to give any explanations at the moment. 
We at once sent Petrovsky back to insist on Malinovsky's presence. 
He refused the second time and, in a state of great excitement 
bordering on insanity, shouted : " Try me, do whatever you 
please, but I won't speak," and at the same time declared that 
he was leaving the country that evening. 

All other attempts to obtain an explanation from Malinovsky 
proved futile and letters sent to him by the fraction and Comrade 
Kamenev were only handed to him just before the train left, 

Malinovsky's desertion from the Duma and his sudden flight 
from St. Petersburg placed our fraction in a difficult position. 
This action, in itself treacherous to the Party and the workers' 
struggle, supplied a weapon to our enemies. Statements were 



issued, sensational in character, alleging that something serious 
was wrong in our Party. Slanderous insinuations and lying 
rumours were circulated about the Party and the fraction. 

At that time nothing authentic was known about Malinovsky's 
real activities, but all sorts of rumours and gossip were spread by 
bourgeois parties and Liquidators with the obvious object of 
damaging the reputation of our entire fraction. It was necessary 
to clear up the case and the fraction decided to place all its informa- 
tion at the disposal of the workers. 

We published in Pravda a full statement setting out in detail 
all the facts known to the fraction. A precise chronological 
account was given of all the steps taken by the fraction to elucidate 
the causes and attendant circumstances of Malinovsky's behaviour. 
The fraction had no facts on which to base any accusation against 
Malinovsky, but it violently and uncompromisingly condemned 
his undisciplined action. The statement concluded : 

At the time of his election, Malinovsky asserted that he consented 
to stand at the request of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour 
Party. This statement bound him to work in a disciplined way 
within the Party. Class-conscious workers understand the neces- 
sity of strictly maintaining this principle in the struggle against all 
bourgeois parties. In contravention of this principle Malinovsky 
resigned his ;nandate as a deputy without consulting the leading 
Party committees or his own immediate organisation, the Russian 
Social-Democratic Workers' Fraction. Such action is inadmissible 
and as an anarchic breach of discipline deserves thorough condemna- 
tion ; it is no better than the action of a sentry deserting his post. 
Malinovsky's statement that he did not consider his responsibility 
when embarking on this course does not in any way mitigate his 
offence. He has placed himself outside our ranks. The Russian 
Social-Democratic Workers' Fraction invites all class-conscious 
workers to endorse this decisicm in order to render impossible 
repetitions of such action among the organised proletariat in the 

The masses reacted to Malinovsky's desertion in the way that 
we expected. Telegrams, greetings and resolutions began to pour 
into the frdction and Pravda, condemning Malinovsky's treachery 
and expressing full conlidencc in the work of our fraction, 'i'he 
temporary damage done by Malinovsky's desertion was made good 
by the way in which the advanced organised workers rallied to 
()ur support. Our fraction, now reduced to five, re-formed its 
ranks and continued its work in the revolutionary struggle both 
from the Duma rostrum and outside. 

No true explanatifjn for Malinovsky's action was forthcoming at 
that time. Wc explained it by certain traits in his character, 


nervous tension, hot-headedness and lack of balance, which he 
had often displayed in his dealings with his associates. It was only- 
after the revolution that the true motives actuating his behaviour 
were fully revealed, when the archives of the police department 
showed that Malinovsky had acted as an agent-provocateur. The 
material then made public and his subsequent trial provide us with 
the complete history of his treason. 

Malinovsky began his career as an agent-provocateur in 19 lo^ 
when he was enrolled as an agent of the Moscow secret police 
under the name of Portnoi. He had settled in Moscow after being 
expelled from St. Petersburg and, although there are some grounds 
for believing that he had had dealings with the secret poHce before, 
it was in Moscow that his real work as an agent-provocateur 

He offered his services to the police after he had been arrested 
with a group of Party workers, and immediately became a very 
active and important secret agent. Malinovsky was a very capable 
and intelligent man and succeeded in penetrating very deeply into 
Party organisations. He appeared at all meetings, attended workers' 
clubs, trade unions, etc., and actively participated in organisa- 
tional work. For a long time he maintained relations with both 
Mensheviks and Bolsheviks and betrayed both to the secret police. 
He was responsible for the arrest of Party workers and for the 
destruction of entire organisations, and supplied the police with 
particulars about meetings which had been arranged, the real and 
assumed names of Party comrades who were living in illegality, 
the names of the members of leading Party committees, addresses 
where literature was stored, in fact, all features of Party life. 

His activities resulted in the arrest in Moscow of the Russian 
collegium of the Central Committee ajid the conciliatory group 
" Vozrozhdenie " headed by Comrade Milyutin. Information 
supplied by him resulted in the break-up of the newly formed 
Bolshevik centre in Tula when some leading comrades were 

In order to safeguard Malinovsky from exposure, the police 
used to arrest him together with others present at an illegal meeting, 
but after a few days he would be released while the others were 
sentenced to long terms of imprisonment or exile. Sometimes, for 
the sake of precaution, the secret police would release all those 
arrested and then rearrest all but Malinovsky in the course of a 
couple of weeks. 

Owing to his cleverness and undoubted talents, Malinovsky 
soon made his name in Party circles. Even earlier in St. Petersburg, 
he had shown himself a capable and forceful worker in the trade 


union movement. From 1906 to 1909, he was secretary of the St. 
Petersburg Metal-Workers' Trade Union, one of the biggest and 
most progressive unions. This alone shows his organising ability 
and his power to gain the confidence of the workers. 

Malinovsky was exceedingly ambitious and exerted himself to 
ensure his election to the State Duma ; his popularity made 
it easy for him to be nominated as candidate. But he was also 
guided by other motives. Byeletsky, the Director of the secret 
police department, in his evidence on the Malinovsky case 
(Byeletsky was arrested after the revolution and subsequently 
shot), stated that Malinovsky in trying to enter the Duma reckoned 
on strengthening his position with the secret police and thereby 
raising the salary which they paid him. Malinovsky had begun 
to delight in his treacherous work and was preparing to extend it 
on a much larger scale. 

Malinovsky impressed on the secret police how convenient it 
would be for them to have their own " informer " in the Duma. 
Needless to say, the police were soon persuaded and the question 
was discussed by the highest poUce officials ; the project received 
the blessing of Alakarov, the then Minister of the Interior. Code 
messages were sent to Moscow by Byeletsky and his notorious 
assistant, Vissarionov, instructing the Moscow secret police to 
facilitate Malinovsky's election. 

The first obstacle to be tackled was the fact that Malinovsky 
had been arrdsted several times on criminal charges. According 
to the law, a person who had been condemned on a criminal 
charge was disqualified from being elected to the Duma. With 
the help of the secret police, Malinovsky went to his native district 
in Poland and by bribery obtained a false certificate declaring 
that he had never been convicted. 

The second difficulty was that it was necessary for the candidate 
to have worked at his factory for six months prior to the election. 
Malinovsky was employed in a small factory near Moscow, and a 
few weeks before the election, when he had not quite completed 
six months' service, he quarrelled with the foreman and was under 
threat of dismissal. Thereupon the police arrested the foreman 
and kept him in prison until after the elections. Nevertheless 
Malinovsky was dismissed from the factory and had to bribe a 
clerk to give him a certificate that he was " on leave." Thus, with 
the help of the secret police, the way was clear for his election. 

After his election to the Duma, Malinovsky became one of the 
most important agents of the police, and was tutored in his new 
duties by Byeletsky himself. 'I'he St. Petersburg secret police 
referred to him as " X " in their documents and paid him a salary 


of 500 rubles a month, later raised to 700 with additional amounts 
for special information, A telephone was installed in his apartment 
at the expense of the police and all his conversations with Bye- 
letsky were conducted in code. He used to meet Byeletsky and 
his assistant Vissarionov in a private room at some restaurant. 
There Byeletsky, as he stated during the trial, would ask a list of 
questions drawn up beforehand and his assistant wrote down 
Malinovsky's answers. Arrests, searches and deportations 
followed, although great care was taken not to compromise 
Malinovsky. When the police department decided in February 
1 91 3 to arrest Comrade Rozmirovich, Malinovsky advised that 
the arrest should be made in Kiev, and when a month later her 
arrest aroused suspicions in the foreign centre, she was released 
at his request.^ 

The information which he supplied was particularly valuable 
because he was well informed about the underground work of the 
Party as well as the work of the Duma fraction. He regularly 
related to the police everything which took place at the editorial 
offices of Pravda. He gave full particulars about the persons who 
attended meetings there, the decisions reached and the financial 
state of the paper. This enabled Byeletsky to arrange for fines, 
confiscations of issues, etc., at times which were most critical 
for the paper. He also supplied lists of all persons contributing 
to funds for the support of Pravda and the names of subscribers. 
These lists were of great assistance to the police when repressive 
measures were decided upon. 

Malinovsky's oratorical powers made him one of the frequent 
speakers of our fraction. But a careful analysis of his speeches 
reveals the fact that the blunt revolutionary content characteristic 
of the speeches of our workers' deputies was absent. Whereas the 
other workers' deputies deliberately accentuated their speeches, 
sticking at nothing, Malinovsky always tried to work round the 
dangerous passages, to avoid in one way or another the revolu- 
tionary presentation of the question and took great pains to make 
his speeches innocuous so as to deprive them of that revolutionary 
content which the Party insisted should be present in all speeches 
of our fraction members. When he addressed open-air meetings, 
he arranged with the police department that police agents should 
be present who would cut short his speech when he reached an 
agreed passage. Such was the case on the important occasion when 
he addressed the Congress of Clerical Workers in Moscow. 

Although while he was in the Duma his main activities were 

^ The police finally dealt with Comrade Rozmirovich in April 1914, when she 
was arrested together with Comrades Samoylova and Kudelli at an editorial 
meeting of Rabotnitsa (The Woman Worker). 


confined to St. Petersburcj, he did not entirely break his connec- 
tions with the Moscow secret poHce. During his visits to Moscow, 
each of which entailed new arrests of revolutionary workers, he 
supplied information to the police and received a special remunera- 

In St. Petersburg, Malinovsky informed Byeletsky of the meet- 
ings of the fraction, the ideas and plans of the deputies, the routes 
of their journeys and their impressions of local conditions. On the 
basis of information transmitted from the police department, the 
local pohce were able to break up meetings arranged by the visiting 
deputy. On one occasion, Malinovsky even allowed Byeletsky to 
inspect the fraction's documents and files and to copy passages 
which interested him. 

Byeletsky also referred in his evidence to an occasion when 
Malinovsky delivered to the police the larger part of a consignment 
of illegal literature which only reached St. Petersburg after great 

Fear of exposing the agent-provocateur caused the secret police 
to be very cautious in arresting Party comrades who worked in 
close touch with Malinovsky, but when Sverdlov and Stalin 
returned to St. Petersburg, the police department demanded that 
he should help to arrange their arrest. 

Sverdlov was arrested in the following circumstances. He had 
escaped from exile and was hiding in my apartment ; the police 
had begun to -watch for him, acting on information supplied by 
Malinovsky. One day the dvornik (janitor) came to see me and, 
after describing Sverdlov, asked whether he was not in my apart- 
ment. Of course I replied that there were no strangers with me, 
but we decided that it was no longer safe for Sverdlov to stay there 
and that he ought to leave at once. As soon as it became dark, I\Iali- 
novsky and 1 went out and seeing that there was no one about 
we lit cigarettes ; on this agreed signal, Sverdlov went out into 
the courtyard at the back. We helped him climb over a wall and 
then across a timber yard over another wall and out on to the 
eml)ankmcnt where a druslihy was waiting. We then went to 
Malinovsky 's room and later Sverdlov went to stay with Petrovsky. 
But he was arrested there the same night. It turned out that Mali- 
novsky, who had been showing so much concern for Sverdlov's 
safety, had 'phoned the address of his new refuge to the police. 

At about the same time, Malinovsky betrayed Stalin in a 
similar way. Stalin had recently made one of his periodic escapes 
from exile and was in hiding, not venturing into the streets. The 
police knew that he had returned and were waiting for him to 
appear in order to rearrest him. A concert had been arranged in 


the Kalashnikov hall for the benefit of the funds for Pravda. Such 
concerts were usually attended by sympathisers among the intel- 
lectuals and Party members who seized the opportunity, while 
among the crowd, of meeting and talking to people whom it was 
inadvisable to meet openly. Stalin decided to attend the concert 
and Malinovsky, who was aware of this, informed the police 
department, with the result that Stalin was rearrested there and 

These two arrests show the depths to which Malinovsky had 
descended. He betrayed into the hands of the police the most 
prominent Party workers who had only recently escaped from 
exile after great difficulty and suffering. 

Relations between Malinovsky and the rest of the fraction were 
strained from the first. During discussions he often became 
hysterical or lost his temper over quite unimportant questions. 
The other members of the fraction objected to such conduct on 
his part and this led to constant friction and conflicts. One 
such scene occurred in the fraction a few days before he left 
the Duma. When the fraction was discussing what action it would 
take in reply to its exclusion for fifteen sittings, Malinovsky 
insisted on the necessity of leaving the Duma completely and of 
appealing to the masses for revolutionary action. There is no 
doubt that this plan was of a provocative nature and the fraction 
quite rightly rejected it. But it must be assumed that in advocat- 
ing such a form of protest, Malinovsky was also preparing the 
ground for his own withdrawal from the Duma, since, as it became 
known afterwards, it was at this time that the police department 
decided to dispense with his services. In the winter of 19 13- 14, 
changes took place in the Ministry of the Interior. The notorious 
General Junkovsky, formerly governor-general of Moscow, was 
appointed Assistant Minister in charge of the police and gen- 
darmerie. This appointment led to changes in the personnel of the 
police department ; Junkovsky appointed his own men instead of 
Byeletsky and his assistant, Vissarianov, and decided to get rid of 

In his evidence, Junkovsky stated that he could not tolerate the 
" nuisance " of an agent of the police acting as a deputy in the 
State Duma. This explanation is not to be believed ; it is 
much more likely that Malinovsky's activity as a member of our 
fraction had become more than the police dared allow. It is also 
possible that the usual departmental jealousy was responsible for 
his dismissal. The new officials very often tried to discredit their 
predecessors and suggest to the public that they were instituting 
a new and much better policy. 


By order of Junkovsky, the chief of the secret police department 
called on Malinovsky to leave the Duma and proceed abroad 
immediately. Before leaving he received a final payment of 6,000 
rubles from the police. The only person in the Duma who knew 
the true cause of Malinovsky 's resignation was Rodzyanko. 
According to his own words, somebody rang him up on the tele- 
phone on the morning of the day when the suspended deputies 
were to return to the Duma, and informed him of the text of their 
intended declaration. Rodzyanko decided to investigate the matter 
further and was informed by Junkovsky that Malinovsky was a 
police spy and that it had been decided to get rid of him. So 
Rodzyanko, while knowing the truth, kept it secret from the 

jMalinovsky then completely disappeared from the sight of the 
Party and public. At the beginning of the war he was conscripted 
and soon afterwards taken prisoner by the Germans. He returned 
to Russia after the revolution and was arrested. 

On November 5, 1918, Malinovsky was tried in Moscow by 
the Revolutionary Tribunal. Numerous witnesses, including the 
chiefs of the tsarist police (Byeletsky, Vissarianov, Junkovsky, 
Makarov and others), and volumes of documents from the archives 
of the secret police, established the history of his treachery. His 
life was one long string of crimes. His intelligence and abilities 
were placed at. the disposal of the highest bidder to the detriment 
of the working-class movement. 

At the trial, when his activity as agent-provocateur was fully 
revealed, Malinovsky was, of course, unable to deny his crimes. 
He chose another method of defence. He alleged that he was forced 
to become an agent-provocateur because he was already completely 
in the hands of the police. He represented his career as agent- 
provocateur as a long martyrdom, accompanied by suffering and 
remorse, from which he could not escape. But at the same time, 
in contradiction to that theory, he confessed : "... I could not agree 
to the first proposal not because I felt any repugnance — I did not 
feel the slightest^but simply because I did not want, and did 
not see any possibility of being able, to play the double role 

But when the police threatened him with revelations of his 
criminal past he at once consented to serve them : " Now the 
questi<jn was settled, I no longer hesitated and felt no remorse." 
• Throughout his trial, as throughout his whole career, Malinov- 
sky lied. He tried to prove that he left the Duma of his own free 
will, because of his personal unhappincss, and that he obtained 
permission from the police to cjuit politics. "... 'i'he circum- 


stances of the case are immaterial ; what is important is that I 
obtained Byeletsky's permission to leave. ... I told Junkovsky 
that I was leaving on account of new conditions which for moral 
and other reasons made it impossible for me to continue the work." 

But we know now the real reasons of his resignation and we know 
that when Byeletsky was removed, Malinovsky begged him to help 
him re-establish his connections with the police department. The 
lies in Malinovsky 's evidence were as deliberate as the whole pose 
he adopted, a pose of sincere repentance while admitting the gravity 
of his crimes. He said that he expected nothing but the death 
penalty, although, in saying this, Malinovsky undoubtedly imagined 
that this attitude would gain him some measure of indulgence. 
His voluntary return to Russia after the revolution was the last 
desperate throw of a gambler. The revolutionary court did not 
forgive him for his crimes against the working class ; he was- 
condemned to be shot. 

Malinovsky will be remembered as one of the most active 
agents-provocateurs, who was able to do enormous harm to the 
revolutionary cause. There is, however, another aspect of his 
activities which shows that they were harmful to tsarism itself. 
In his second role as a member of the Bolshevik fraction, Malinov- 
sky was forced to deliver revolutionary speeches from the Duma 
tribune and to play his part in our agitational campaigns. These 
activities inevitably produced the results which we desired and the 
tsarist government was forced to bring grist to the mill of revolu- 

V. I. Lenin described the situation in which the police were 
placed by Malinovsky's activity in the following way : 

It is obvious that by helping to elect an agent-provocateur to the 
Duma and by removing, for that purpose, all the competitors of the 
Bolshevik candidate, the secret police were guided by a vulgar con- 
ception of Bolshevism, or rather, a distorted caricature of Bol- 
shevism. They imagined that the Bolsheviks would " arrange an 
armed insurrection." In order to keep all the threads of this coming 
insurrection in their hands, they thought it worth while departing 
from their own standpoint and having Malinovsky elected both to 
the Duma and to our Central Committee. 

But when the police achieved both these aims they found that 
Malinovsky was transformed into a link of the long and solid chain 
connecting in various ways our legal base with the two chief organs 
by which the party influenced the masses, namely Pravda and the 
^Duma fraction. The agent-provocateur had to protect both these 
organs in order to justify his vocation. 

Both these organs were under our immediate guidance. Zinoviev 
and myself wrote daily to Pravda and its policy was entirely deter- 


mined by the resolutions of the Party. Our influence over forty to 
sixty thousand \vork(?rs was thus secured. The same applies to the 
Duma fraction, particularly to Muranov, Petrovsky and Badayev, 
who worked more and more independently of Malinovsky, 
strengthened their connections with and extended their influence 
over the workers. 

Malinovsky could and did ruin individuals, hut he could neither 
hold back nor control the gro\Mh of the Party nor in any way affect 
the increase of its importance to the masses, its influence over 
hundreds of thousands of workers (through strikes, which increased 
after April 19 12, etc.). I should not be at all surprised if the secret 
police used the following argument for Malinovsky 's removal from 
the Duma : that Malinovsky had turned out to be too closely involved 
with the Duma fraction and with Pravda, which were carrying on 
their revolutionary work among the masses much too energetically 
to be tolerated by the police. 

This estimate of the objective part played by Malinovsky in no 
way tones down, but brands still more definitely, the personality 
of the traitor. 

Chapter XVIII 

Strike at the Izhorsky Works — Strikes in the Provinces — Struggle of 
the Baku Workers — Nicholas II sends a " Peacemaker " — St. Peters- 
burg Workers Hit Back — A Visit to Maklakov, Minister for the Interior 

The State Duma rose for the summer recess in June 1914, 
after the budget had been successfully piloted through all its 
stages. The session, which was the last before the war, closed 
during a period of a rising tide of the working-class movement 
throughout the country. 

After the formidable demonstrations on May i , arrangements 
were made for a protest strike in connection with the sentences 
passed on the Obukhov workers. When the first trial took place 
in November 1913, strikes had broken out in St. Petersburg, and 
now when the case was again taken in May 1914, the court con- 
demned the Obukhov workers to two months' imprisonment for 
taking part in strikes. Over 100,000 workers responded to the call 
for a protest strike, which aroused as much enthusiasm as the 
May Day movement. 

The next political strike of the St. Petersburg workers was caused 
by the trial of the defending counsel in the Beilis^ case at Kiev, and 
the death sentence passed on a worker charged with the murder 
of the shop manager of the pipe-works. This strike, which occurred 
early in June, embraced 30,000 workers. 

At the same time, stubborn economic struggles were being 

waged continually at one or another of the many St. Petersburg 

factories or works. One of the most prolonged of these strikes took 

place at the Izhorsky Works, which were controlled by the Navy 

Department. The movement started in the electric power station 

where the workers presented several economic demands ; when a 

number of these workers were dismissed, the strike spread to the 

other shops, where the workers demanded a rise in wages, the 

eight-hour day, etc. The strike was under the leadership of our 

St. Petersburg Committee and, at the request of the strikers, I 

went to Kolpino to meet a gathering of delegates. The meeting 

^ Beilis — a Jewish clerk who, on the strength of some faked evidence con- 
cocted by the Black Hundreds, was tried on a charge of a ritual murder and 
acquitted by the jury. — Ed. 



took place at night in the cemetery and it was decided to hold firm 
as long as possible. 

The strike caused considerable anxiety at the Naval Depart- 
ment. A detachment of cossacks was sent to Kolpino and quar- 
tered in barracks next to the works so as to be in readiness " to 
maintain order." 

The next day I again went to the works and found the workers 
highly incensed and indignant over the calling out of the cossacks. 
At the meeting which followed tempers ran high and the deter- 
mination to win the fight despite dismissals and other possible 
forms of repression was strengthened. Party organisations assisted 
in the preparation and distribution of leaflets enumerating the 
economic demands and also calling for the dismissal of the chief 
manager. The management of the works attempted to prevent 
the distribution of leaflets and sent round officials who tore the 
leaflets out of the workers' hands. Naturally this only made the 
workers more hostile. 

The Izhorsky strike lasted three weeks and ended when the 
management promised to raise the rates of pay and to grant several 
other concessions. I have dwelt on this strike in order to illustrate 
the normal course of an economic strike during this period of 
revolutionary enthusiasm. The close contact between the workers 
and the Bolshevik Party organisations and the action of the workers 
under Bolshevik leadership on the one hand, and the calling out of 
armed forces for the suppression of the strikers on the other, are 
typical of the circumstances in which the workers' economic 
struggles were being conducted at that time. 

This development of the struggle was not confined to St. 
Petersburg. '1 he example set by the St. Petersburg proletariat 
served as a spur to the labour movement throughout the country. 
Strikes, both economic and political, spread from one city to 
another. Phe workers in provincial towns acted in an organised 
way unseen before and their persistence in the struggle revealed a 
high degree of class-consciousness. Consequently the strikes, 
although nearly always connected with definite economic demands, 
contained elements related to the political struggle. 

A prolonged dispute arose during May in the textile industry 
in the Moscow district. The movement originated in the Kos- 
troma (jubernia and quickly spread to the neighbouring (>uber- 
nias of Moscow and Vladimir, involving nearly 100,000 workers. 
This was an extraordinarily large number for textile workers, 
who worked in sniall mills far removed from each other. The chief 
demand was fi^r higher rates of pay, but amongst other things the 
strikers demanded the organisation of libraries where they could 


read Pravda, Prosvyeshchenye, Voprosy Strakhovania (Insurance 
Questions) and other newspapers and magazines. 

The Bolshevik fraction led the strike and supported the textile 
workers by all the means at their disposal. Shagov, who was elected 
from the Kostroma Gubernia, toured the district as soon as the 
Duma session closed, calling on the workers to continue the 
struggle and opposing all talk of surrender to the employers. 
Shagov's journey was made in conditions that were now customary 
for workers' deputies. Every^vhere he went he was accompanied 
by police spies, who forced their way into houses which he visited 
and arrested workers with whom he spoke. 

The strike lasted into the summer, and thanks to the sound 
organisation and stubbornness of the workers, forced the employers 
to make a number of concessions including higher wages. The 
workers had chosen the right moment for the struggle as the 
employers were accumulating stocks for the forthcoming fair at 

At the same time that the textile strike was being waged in the 
Moscow district, events were taking place in the far south, in 
Baku, which were of great importance for the entire working-class 
movement. The Baku strike, which was distinguished by its long 
duration and by the exceptional means adopted by the capitalists 
and the tsarist government to suppress it, gave rise to the historic 
action of the St. Petersburg workers on the eve of the war. 

The strike at the Baku oilfields did not occur spontaneously ; it 
was the result of careful preparation for several months. Workers' 
committees composed of delegates from the workers of all the big 
firms drew up beforehand, in consultation with Party organisations, 
the details of wage demands and other questions connected with 
the workers' conditions. 

The immediate cause of the strike was an outbreak of plague in 
the district adjoining the oilfields. The menace of this terrible 
disease at once brought to the front the question of the disgusting 
housing conditions of the Baku workers. Prominent scientists 
who investigated conditions at Baku testified that they had never 
seen such conditions, not even in India — the permanent home of 

The question of housing had repeatedly been raised before and, 
remembering previous strikes, the oil magnates had often promised 
to commence the building of properly fitted houses. But when the 
workers' movement flagged they at once forgot their promises. 

Immediately after the outbreak of plague in May 19 14, 
the oilworkers' trade union raised the housing question with the 
owners' association. The association declined to move in the 


matter and at the same time many of the workers were arrested. 
Strikes at once started in several districts and soon became general. 
About 50,000 workers were involved, fighting under a strike 
committee closely connected with the Party, which issued mani- 
festos, organised the collection of a strike fund and took other 
necessar)' steps. The workers presented a long list of demands 
containing more than sixty points of which the following were the 
most important : higher rates of pay, better housing and food, 
the abolition of premiums, compulsory primary education, the 
organisation of medical aid, etc. On some jobs the workers 
demanded the eight-hour day and the official recognition of 
May I as a workers' holiday. 

The fact that the demands included several which were of a 
political nature was the result of the considerable influence 
exercised by our Party organisations. The demand for the aboli- 
tion of premiums deserves special attention. The very fact that 
the workers protested against this system of degrading sops, by 
means of which the employers kept in hand the working masses, 
testified to a high degree of class-consciousness in the Baku 
workers. In spite of the racial diff'erences among the workers — 
there were Russians, Armenians, Persians and Tartars — there was 
almost 100 per cent, solidarity in this fight with the capitalists. 

The oil magnates flatly rejected all the demands and decided 
to resort to 'extreme measures to break the strike. When the 
strikers did not return within the time limit fixed by the employers, 
they were all discharged ; their passports were handed over to the 
police and they were ordered to leave the miserable rooms which 
they occupied. The courts hastened to the assistance of the 
employers and issued eviction orders against the workers who 
lived in the oilfields. The authorities stuck at nothing ; beds 
were carried out of the workers' barracks, stoves were broken, 
the electric light and water supply cut off. 

The police were as active as the owners. Baku was transformed 
into a military camp and the usual garrison was replaced by six 
squadrons of cossacks, prepared to fight the " internal enemy." 
The trade union was smashed, all active members arrested and all 
workers' meetings forbidden. Martial law was proclaimed and 
no one was allowed to appear in the streets after 8 p.m. 

At the end of June the Baku workers organised a demon- 
stration in whicii (jvcr 20,000 pctjple participated. Carrying posters 
stating the workers' demands, the demonstrators marched towards 
the headquarters of the oilowners' association. A*§ the police were 
unable to cope with the crowd, they called out the cossacks who 
surrounded and dispersed the workers. About a hundred workers 


were driven into a courtyard and arrested. There were already 
several hundred prisoners in the central prison ; the cells were full 
and the prison yard was packed with workers. It is significant 
that the city governor warned the owners that they had no right to 
discuss, much less grant, such non-economic demands as the 
establishment of factory committees, the May i holiday, universal 
education, etc. But this warning was quite unnecessary ; the 
owners had no intention of making the least concession. 

As the strike developed it aroused the interest of the whole 
country. The employers and the tsarist government on the one. 
hand, and the working class on the other, eagerly watched the 
progress of the struggle. The shortage of oil, the production of 
which had almost entirely ceased, began to alarm a number of 
industrial organisations, particularly the shipowners, who were 
confronted with the necessity of laying up ships. 

The tsarist government decided that the measures taken by the 
local authorities were too mild and the Assistant Minister for the 
Interior, General Junkovsky, was sent to Baku by special order of 
the tsar. He was given full powers and was accompanied by the 
head of the police department. 

On his arrival, the repressive measures increased. He forbade 
the newspapers to refer to the strike, enforced the censorship of 
all telegrams referring to the strike, inquired into the destination 
of all money sent to Baku and confiscated all sums destined for the 
strikers. In short, Junkovsky, a worthy head of the tsarist police, 
" pacified " to the utmost extent of his power. The tsarist govern- 
ment was definitely allied with the oil magnates in the attempt to 
break down the stubborn resistance of the Baku workers. 

These measures did not fail to excite the indignation of all the 
Russian workers and above all of the St. Petersburg proletariat. 
The Baku workers appealed to the Duma fraction for assistance and 
we organised a demonstration in St. Petersburg to help the strikers. 

In a report to the director of the police department, the secret 
police described fairly correctly the work of our Party in organising 
the sympathetic action of the St. Petersburg workers : 

The outbreak of the strike in the Baku oilfields quite accidentally 
' (?) coincided with an intensification of the activity of revolutionary 
underground circles which were then attempting to rouse the 
interest of the workers in the forthcoming International Socialist 
Congress to be held the following autumn. Seeing in the strike a 
pretext for carrying on agitation and inciting the workers to dis- 
turbances, the representatives of the socialist parties hastened to 
seize the opportunity to develop their organisations in preparation 
for the election of delegates to the congress. 


Later the report refers to the agitation conducted at this time : 

In addition to regular bulletins of a frankly seditious character 
published in the L^gal Social-Democratic press, the leaders of the 
underground organisations issued instructions that the nature and 
significance of the Baku strike should be discussed at all workers' 
meetings. It was hoped, by describing the conditions of the workers 
under the present regime, to rouse revolutionary feeling in working- 
class circles and to interest the workers in the ideal of world socialism. 

Close watch has revealed that the chief agents of this work are 
Badayev, member of the Social-Democratic Duma fraction, and 
various party members who are associated with and guided by him. 

The above-mentioned deputy and persons associated with him or- 
ganise workers' meetings outside the town under the guise of scientific 
excursions. At these meetings, the aims and tasks of the forthcoming 
socialist congress are thoroughly examined, the Baku strike is dis- 
cussed, and the desirability of establishing solidarity among the 
different groups of workers is urged, to take the form of both moral 
and material assistance. 

Assistance to the Baku workers was soon forthcoming in the 
shape of large collections which were forwarded to our fraction. 
At a number of factories the workers gave a definite percentage of 
their wages and Pravda printed as a regular feature the list of 
moneys received and at the same time appealed for increased 
subscriptions. The authorities as well as the advanced workers 
realised that the appeal for further help was a form of revolu- 
tionary agitation. 

As the revolutionary temper among the St. Petersburg workers 
continued to rise, an attempt was made to prevent the collection 
of funds for the Baku workers. The city governor of St. Petersburg 
issued an order prohibiting the collection of funds " for objects 
contrary' to the maintenance of public order and peace, such as 
the support of strikers, exiles, the payment of fines imposed by the 
authorities, etc., by any means whatsoever." At the same time he 
forbade the publication of advertisements and appeals for such 
tunds in the newspapers and threatened a fine of 500 rubles or 
imprisonment up to three months for any ofience against this order. 

Thus the city governors of Baku and St. Petersburg acted in 
complete accord ; the former confiscated all money which arrived 
for the strikers, while the latter endeavoured to prevent any being 
sent. Pravda published the city governor's order prominently on 
the front page and then immediately iicneath it stated in large 
pfint my address and the hours when I received visitors, i.e. money 
for the strikers. The collections did not but, on the contrary, 
increased considerably ; the order served as a signal for renewed 
efforts on behalf of tiie Baku workers. 


Within a couple of days I sent off another fifteen hundred 
rubles with the following telegram which was published in 

In the name of the St. Petersburg proletariat, I congratulate the 
heroic proletariat of Baku on the unanimity and perseverance they 
are displaying in their struggle. The workers of St. Petersburg are 
watching your fight with great interest and sympathy. 

The telegraphic reply received by the paper from the Baku 
strike committee conveyed the comradely thanks of the Baku 
proletariat to the workers of St. Petersburg for their material and 
moral help. 

Every day of the Baku strike witnessed an extension of the 
campaign in St. Petersburg. News of evictions, deportations and 
arrests of strikers led the St. Petersburg workers to organise 
protest strikes during the latter days of June. The movement 
started slowly at first and only affected a few enterprises, but all 
our Party organisations threw themselves energetically into the 
work of extending the movement and preparing for mass action. 

But the secret police were also active ; numerous arrests were 
made and a campaign inaugurated against all workers' societies. 
They first turned their attention to workers' educational societies 
and began by smashing the organisation located in the Sampson- 
ievsky Prospect. About forty people — mainly Party members — 
were arrested on the premises. The police paid almost daily visits 
to other societies, searching and sometimes arresting those present. 

After these raids, I demanded an interview with Maklakov, the 
Minister of the Interior. I had already a number of matters which 
I wanted to discuss with the Minister, such as the arrests, exiles, 
rough-handling by the police, etc. I was informed that Maklakov 
was ready to receive me the next morning. 

The Minister's house in Fontanka was closely watched by 
uniformed and plain-clothes policemen, both inside and outside. 
I passed through the ranks of the police into the Minister's room. 
Maklakov, a relatively young tsarist dignitary, was a nominee of the 
empress and he tried hard to justify the confidence placed in him. 
He had already made all preparations for the destruction of work- 
ing-class organisations and flatly refused to release the persons 
arrested during the raid on the Sampsonievsky Society, where he 
alleged an illegal library had been discovered. When I insisted 
that the reckless activities of the police should be restricted, he 
answered with generalities. 

" We swore allegiance to and are now serving his majesty just 
as you are keeping the oath which you swore to your Party," said 


Maklakov, " and we are taking all measures necessary to fight the 
revolutionary^ movement." 

He then decided to show how well informed he was of every- 
thing our organisation was doing. " I am aware that you are 
conducting underground work, printing and distributing leaflets," 
and opening a drawer of his desk, he produced a newly printed 

The manifesto had been drafted a couple of days before in my 
apartment and had been printed the previous night. Obviously 
Maklakov, in preparation for this interview, had ordered the secret 
police to supply him with some tangible evidence of our illegal 
activities. He wanted to prove that nothing could escape the 
vigilant eye of the secret police, and the manifesto was probably 
obtained from Ignatiev, an agent-provocateur who had helped in 
the printing of the leaflet. 

Without showing in the least that I recognised the leaflet, I 
decided that no useful purpose would be served by continuing the 
conversation. On leaving, I said : " We shall not talk to you in a 
study, nor from the tribune ; the working class will settle the 
question in the streets in a direct struggle against the present 

In spite of Maklakov's boasts and the mobilisation of the police, 
the government was unable to hold back the development of the 
revolutionar)^ movement, which in the course of a few weeks grew 
to unparalleled dimensions. 

Chapter XIX 


The Shooting of Putilov Workers — At the Works — Interview with 

.Junkovsky — " The Union of the Russian People " asks for Blood — 

Barricades in St. Petersburg 

From the beginning of July, the strike movement at St. Petersburg 
factories and works grew rapidly. On July i, the workers of the 
Langesippen, Lessner, Ericson, Siemens- Schuckert, Aivaz and 
other factories left work. Before leaving the factories, meetings 
were held and resolutions of protest passed against the perse- 
cution of the Baku workers. " Comrades of Baku," declared 
the St. Petersburg workers, " we are with you, and your victory 
will be our victory." At several other establishments the workers 
did not declare a strike, but left work an hour earlier and arranged 
meetings and collections for the Baku workers. 

Twelve thousand persons attended the meeting arranged by the 
Putilov workers in the factory yard. But as soon as the first speaker 
licid said two words, cries of " police " were heard and the meeting 
was broken up before any resolution could be passed. Two days 
later, the Putilov workers again assembled for a meeting in con- 
nection with the Baku events and this meeting gave rise to inci- 
dents which marked a turning-point in the July movement in St. 

The Putilov workers left work two hours before the end of the 
working-day and about 12,000 workers attended the meeting. Two 
speakers described the conditions of the Baku workers and called 
on the workers to contribute in aid of the strikers and to declare a 
one-day protest strike. 

At the close of the meeting the workers approached the gates 
and demanded that they be opened. But when they were opened, 
it was not to let the workers out but to allow the mounted and foot 
police in. Then the gates were again closed and the police, who 
had been concealed near the factory, called upon the crowd to 
disperse, although this was of course impossible with the gates 
closed. The workers protested and in reply the police fired a 
volley. W^ith shouts of : " To the barricades," the crowd rushed 
to one end of the yard and from thence threw stones at the police. 



The police fired a second round and then began to arrest one man 
after another, amidst the cries of the wounded. 

According to the statement of the workers, two men were killed, 
about fifty wounded and more than a hundred taken to the police 
station. As soon as I was informed of the shooting, I went to the 
works. A crowd of workers told me of the shooting, the use of 
sabres and whips and of the arrests ; but no one knew the precise 
number of casualties. As is usual on such occasions, the most 
varied rumours circulated through the crowd, but all were unani- 
mous in their indignation at the action of the police. 

I applied to the works management for definite information, 
but all those I spoke to were afraid to commit themselves and 
tried to avoid all conversation. The scared medical assistant at the 
hospital declared that he had seen nothing and that no killed or 
wounded had been brought in. After repeated questions to various 
workers, I finally succeeded in obtaining the facts. 

From the works I went to the police station to inquire into the 
fate of those arrested. A dozen fully armed police officers crowded 
the pristav's^ room and listened with surprise to the insistence 
with which I demanded an immediate reply to a number of 
questions. I asked who had ordered the shooting of unarmed 
workers, how many had been killed and how many arrested, and 
on what charge. 

The pristav replied that he was under no obligation to give 
explanations to strangers and that no one had the right to inter- 
Icre with the actions of the police. When I showed him my 
deputy's card he was rather at a loss, and rang up the city governor, 
who gave strict orders that no information should be given to me. 

Then the police officers pushed me out of the station and 
refused to allow me to speak with the arrested workers. It was 
(jbvious that the workers had been cruelly beaten ; many were 
lying 6n the floor too weak to stand or sit. 

I went to the Pravda offices for my usual night's work with my 
mind full of impressions of the incident, the suffering of the 
wounded, the overbearing attitude of the police and the panic and 
indignation among the workers. There 1 reported on all 1 had 
seen and we drew up a brief report for the paper. At the same 
time we informed the editors of the Liquidationist paper Den (The 
Day), who used the same press. 

Next day Pravda appeared with a full account of the incidents 
*^nd a short note explaining their significance. The material 
appeared in the space usually occupied by the leading article. 

During the niglit 1 telephoned to the IVlinistry of the Interior 
' Police- ofhccr in chiirgc of a ward. — Eu. 


and asked to be received on the question of the Putilov incident. 
Maklakov was out of town and his assistant, Junkovsky, sent me a 
message saying that he would see me the next morning at his 
home at 8 o'clock. 

A few minutes after the appointed hour, I arrived at his home in 
Sergeyevskaya Street. " I am late," I began, " because during the 
whole night I have had to deal with your raiders on Trudovaya 
Pravda." This excuse at once made the general feel uncomfortable. 

" Of course you have no time, you are always at the factories 
inciting the workers to strike. I am surprised that you were 
allowed to enter the Putilov works. You are a deputy of the 
State Duma, your business is to legislate — that is why you were 
elected — but instead you spend your time at the workshops, 
hatching plots, issuing leaflets and publishing a newspaper which 
incites its readers to criminal acts." He pointed to the latest 
number of Trudovaya Pravda which was lying on the table and 
went on : "I have ordered a special commission for immediately 
prosecuting you and the newspaper." 

" It is not the first time I have been prosecuted under one or 
other of your laws," I replied, " and I know you are able to do it, 
but I am here now for another purpose. Tell me what right the 
police had to fire on the Putilov workers ; I shall report your 
ansvv'er to the workers at the other St. Petersburg factories and 

" No shots were fired there," he rapped out, " the police fired 
two rounds of blank cartridges." 

We both rose and stood facing each other across the table. " We 
shall not allow the workers to stone the police," he went on, " the 
police have rifles and sabres and in the future in similar circum- 
stances they will shoot. That is why they are armed." 

" I did not expect any other answer from our Ministers," I 
replied, " I shall inform the workers. You cannot prevent me 
going to the factories, A deputy elected by the workers will never 
confine himself to speeches in the Duma while the workers are 
being beaten up in your police stations." 

I abruptly put an end to the interview and left the chief of the 
tsar's firing-squads. 

An account of my interview with Junkovsky was published in 
Pravda ; the number was confiscated. But in its next issue, Pravda 
again printed it ; we were determined that the workers should 
know that the shots fired at the Putilov works were not accidental 
but part of the repressive measures that the tsarist government 
were bent on putting into execution. 

The news of the shooting at the Putilov works made a tremen- 


dous impression on the St. Petersburg workers. Their indignation 
was as great as that caused by the news of the Lena shootings. The 
secret poHce, who put everything down to " criminal agitation," 
reported that " the pubUcation of articles in the workers' press on 
the shooting of Putilov workers has made an impression on the 
masses which is exceptional in its intensity and effects." 

The police endeavoured to localise the conflagration. All copies 
of Pravda containing news of the shootings were confiscated 
although no legal order had been issued. This occurred not only 
in the streets ; searches were made at the homes of all news- 
vendors who lived in the Narva district. The police took every 
copy of Pravda that they could lay their hands on. 

The Black Hundreds scented the danger and called on the police 
to do their duty to the tsar and the fatherland and stamp out all 
signs of the revolutionary movement. The organ of the " Union 
of the Russian People," the Russkoye Zfiamya, hysterically called 
for blood in an article entitled " Badayev to the Gallows." 

On the day after the shootings, strikes broke out all over St. 
Petersburg ; no less than 70,000 left work. The workers of the 
Winkler Works declared in their resolution : " On hearing the 
news of this new blood-bath, we determined not to start work but 
to reply by a strike. Our indignation is beyond words and we are 
resolved not to tolerate this sort of thing any longer. . , ." The 
next day, Pravda was full of such resolutions and the streets were 
crowded with demonstrators. The strikers marched round to the 
other factories calling on their comrades to join the movement and 
the demonstrations grew like snowballs. 

The demonstrations in the IVIoscow district of St. Petersburg 
were particularly stormy ; all the works and factories were closed 
and the workers came out on the streets. All inns and government 
vodka stores were closed at the demand of the workers and all 
shops had to shut down because the assistants left their work to 
join the demonstrators. About midday, an enormous crowd 
marched towards the Putilov works singing revolutionary songs, 
a red flag being carried before the crowd. 

At the Putilov railway siding the crowd was met by the police, 
who hrcd several volleys ; the demonstrators did not disperse, 
but replied with stones. After a struggle lasting some hftecn 
minutes the police were put to flight, as they had fired their last 
cartridges. Four workers were wounded and taken to hospital. 
• Another clash occurred in the Vyborg district. A big demon- 
stration headed by the Aivaz workers was marching along the 
Sampsonicvsky Prospect towards the centre of the city when the 
police attempted to bar their route. Shots were fired and stones 


thrown, but fortunately no one was injured and the crowd was 
forced back into the side streets. Smaller encounters with the 
police took place throughout the day in all quarters of the city. 

Late in the evening of the same day, the St. Petersburg Com- 
mittee of the Party discussed the further plan of action. Our task 
was to solidify the independent action of the workers and to trans- 
form it into a powerful, organised movement. We decided to 
continue the mass strike for another three days and to organise new 
demonstrations, first on the Vyborg side. A big demonstration was 
fixed for July 7, the day when Poincare, the President of the 
French Republic, was due to arrive in St. Petersburg. 

Formerly we had issued appeals to support the Baku strikers ; 
now the principal motive of the movement was the protest against 
the shooting of workers in St. Petersburg. In order to establish 
a general plan of action we arranged a meeting of delegates from 
the factories, near the Porokhovye station outside the city. A 
password was given to the delegates and guides were appointed to 
conduct anyone using it through the forest to the meeting place. 

On July 5, the demonstrations and clashes with the police 
were repeated, but no shots were fired although the police made 
free use of their sabres and whips. As July 6 was a Sunday no 
big demonstrations were held, but preparations were made in the 
working-class districts for the mass action which had been fixed 
for the following day. 

On the morning of July 7 the city looked as it had done during 
1905. With very few exceptions, factories and works were closed 
and about 130,000 workers were on strike. The workers poured 
into the streets and the police patrols were totally unable to control 
them ; they could only manage to prevent any demonstration 
on the Nevsky Prospect. In order to avoid any " scandal " in the 
presence of the French President, huge police forces were con- 
centrated there to prevent the workers reaching the centre of the 
city. The movement was not confined to mere demonstration. 
The normal traffic was interrupted ; tramcars were stopped and 
passengers forced to alight, and the controls were removed. 
Workers filled the cars and prevented them from moving. Later 
in the day the men at one of the tramway depots joined the strikers. 

The workers again closed all the government vodka shops and 
beer-houses, in some cases smashing bottles and pouring away the 
beer. Even the bourgeois papers subsequently referred to the 
absolute sobriety that prevailed in those days in the working-class 
districts. Taught by the experience of the preceding days, the 
police did not venture to use firearms, but attacked scattered 
isolated groups and individuals with whips and sabres. The 


workers had lost all fear of the police ; they put up a vigorous 
fight against the police brutaUty, and many hand-to-hand fights 
took place. 

The same evening the city governor and the Minister of the 
Interior had an urgent consultation on the events of the day and 
decided to take strong measures. The next morning the city 
governor issued a proclamation warning the population of the 
consequences of these disorders and reproducing, in effect, the 
famous order issued by Trepov in 1905 : " Spare no cartridges." 

In spite of this there were no signs of slackening and the move- 
ment continued to grow during the following days until July 12. 
The number of strikers increased to 150,000, and on July 9 
barricades were seen in the streets of St. Petersburg. Tramcars, 
barrels, poles, etc., served as material for the construction of 
barricades which were built mainly in the Vyborg district. All 
traffic was interrupted and in many areas the workers had 
complete control of the streets. 

The July movement of 1914 was interrupted by the declaration 
of the war. Although the strikes had stopped two days before 
war was declared on July 17 (old style) the patriotic demonstra- 
tions had already started and the task of the police was easier. At 
the same time, the manufacturers who had declared lock-outs 
were now prepared to make concessions in expectation of war 
orders and protits. 

It is quite possible that in any case the July demonstrations 
would not have led to the decisive point of the revolutionary 
struggle, but that moment could not have been long delayed. It 
would have arrived with the next turn in the revolutionary tide, 
which would have quickly followed the ebb after July. But that 
moment was postponed by the war for almost two-and-half years. 
Although separated by the war years, July 19 14 and February 
1 91 7 are directly linked together in the general development of the 
revolutionary movement. 

Chapter XX 


Pravda's Place in the Revolutionary Movement — Pravda and the 

Duma Fraction — The Day to Day Struggle with the Police — The 

Interpellation on Pravda in the Duma — Pravda Raided 

Pravda played an extremely important role in the development of 
the revolutionary movement before the war and, from the moment 
of its foundation, v^^as one of the chief means of conducting our 
Party work. The editors and the workers concerned in the printing 
and distribution of the paper became directly engaged in the 
organisation of the masses. Every revolutionary worker considered 
it his duty to obtain and read his Bolshevik newspaper eveiy day, 
despite all the difficulties which might arise. Every copy was 
passed from hand to hand and read by scores of workers. The 
paper gave expression to their class-consciousness, educated and 
organised them. 

The popularity of Pravda among the workers can be explained 
by the fact that it consistently followed a firm Bolshevik policy 
and, unlike the opportunist Liquidationist press {Luch and other 
papers), it always stated the problems in simple, straightforward 
language. Whereas the circulation of Luch never exceeded a 
maximum of 16,000 copies, that of Pravda reached 40,000 a day. 
A similar relation in the degree of support among the workers was 
visible in the amounts brought in by the collections which were 
made on behalf of the papers. Pravda was started on the money 
of the workers and supported throughout by workers' subscrip- 
tions, but the Liquidators published their paper mainly on big 
donations given by individuals in sympathy with the Mensheviks. 
In 1 913, Pravda received no less than 2,180 contributions from 
workers' groups while Luch during that period only received 660. 
The following year (until May) Pravda received 2,873 ^^^^ Luch 

In connection with every political event, every battle of the 
working class, workers sent letters, resolutions and reports ta 
Pravda. We were unable to publish all this material on the four 
pages of the paper, even in its enlarged form, and much could not 
be printed for censorship reasons. The workers bluntly expressed 
their opinions of the tsarist regime and their willingness to engage 



in revolutionary struggle against it and, when the editors decided 
to take the risk and publish such correspondence, the paper was 
invariably fined and confiscated. As this was such a common 
occurrence, the workers provided for it in advance by requesting : 
" In case the paper is confiscated, please publish our news once 
more in the following number." 

Pravda maintained its close contact with the workers also 
through the numerous visitors to the editorial offices, which 
became an important centre for organisational work. Meetings 
between delegates from local Party cells were held there, informa- 
tion was received from factories and workshops and from there 
instructions and the arrangements about secret meeting-places 
were taken back to the districts. 

The tsarist secret police were well aware that the Bolshevik 
Pravda was a very dangerous enemy to the regime. Although, 
owing to the growing revolutionary temper of the St. Petersburg 
workers, the police hesitated two years before deciding to crush 
Pravda, they continually worried it with minor persecutions 
designed to reduce its power. Throughout the existence of the 
paper, every issue appeared after a struggle, every article after a 
fight. Arrests, fines, confiscation and raids — the police gave us 
no rest. 

The Party created its newspaper under extremely difficult con- 
ditions and the Central Committee attached enormous importance 
to its part in the revolutionary movement. The group of comrades 
who were responsible for it were assisted in their difficult work by 
the Bolshevik fraction in the Duma. Pravda and the fraction 
worked hand in hand and only with the aid of the paper was the 
fraction able to carry out the tasks assigned to it by the Party and 
the revolutionary movement. We used the Duma rostrum to 
speak to the masses over the heads of the parliamentarians of 
various shades. But this was only rendered possible by the 
existence of our workers' press, as the so-called liberal newspapers 
devoted only a few lines to our speeches and sometimes passed 
them over in silence. Had there been no workers' Bolshevik 
paper, our speeches would not have been known of outside the 
walls of the 'I'aurida Palace. 

This was not the only assistance which we received from 
Pravda. At the editorial offices we met delegates from the St. 
Petersburg factories and works, discussed various questions and 
obtained information from them. In short, Pravda was a centre 
around which revolutionary workers could gather and which 
provided the support for the work of the fraction in the Duma. 

Prom the moment that the fraction was formed it made news- 


paper work one of its chief tasks. Immediately the Fourth Duma 
opened, the Bolshevik " six " published the following appeal in 
Pravda : 

Being absolutely convinced that Pravda will carry out the task of 
welding together the forces of the proletariat during the present 
period, we appeal to you, comrades, to support it, distribute it and 
supply it with material. No doubt Pravda has its shortcomings, like 
any new paper which has not had the time or experience to gain 
strength, but the only way to remedy this is to support it regularly. 

When I was charged by the Party with the task of attending to 
the issue of Pravda I addressed the following message to the St. 
Petersburg workers : 

A workers' deputy and a workers' newspaper serve the same 
cause. There must be the closest co-operation between the two ; 
that is why, comrades, I consider it my duty to take the most active 
part in bringing out our workers' newspaper, Pravda. Comrades ! 
by our own efforts, with our hard-earned pence, we have created the 
first workers' daily in Russia. We, the workers of St. Petersburg, took 
a leading part in this work. But it is not enough to found a news- 
paper, we must strengthen it, and to put it securely on its feet a great 
deal has to be done. Every worker must become a regular reader and 
every reader must recruit other regular readers. We must organise 
collections for Pravda and ensure that it is distributed as widely as 
possible. Comrades ! Let us all work together to build up the paper 
which serves the cause of Labour. 

But in addition to organising support for Pravda and arranging 
for the means to continue its publication, I had also to struggle 
against the continual persecution of the police. We were constantly 
fighting against the confiscation of the paper and had to resort to the 
most varied subterfuges in order that the issue of any particular 
-day should reach its readers. 

To comply with the law a copy of the newspaper was sent from 
the printing shop to the Press Committee at the same time as the 
paper was issued for sale. As the Committee usually issued an 
order immediately for the confiscation of the issue we had to 
utilise the short interval between the dispatch of the paper from 
the printing shop and its receipt by the Committee for the distribu- 
tion to our vendors. 

Representatives from factories and works gathered in the court- 
-yard outside of the printing office in the early dawn ready to 
; receive the paper straight from the press and dash off to their 

districts. Later the police became familiar with our manoeuvres 
: and the printing establishment was surrounded with spies and the 

neighbouring streets filled with detachments of mounted and 


foot police. Often, in contravention of the law, the officials of the 
Press Committee came to the printshop and confiscated the paper 
as it came off the presses. Then we attempted to conceal a few 
bundles of the paper in the attic or on the staircase in order to 
smufjgle out at least a few copies after the police had gone. 

The " immunity " which I enjoyed as a member of the State 
Duma somewhat facilitated our task in this constant struggle with 
the authorities, but, needless to say, it in no way insured either 
my comrades or myself from police persecution and legal prosecu- 
tion. The investigating magistrates accumulated case after case 
against me and, when they considered that a favourable moment 
had arrived, they presented their bill — I was prosecuted several 
times in respect of the newspaper. The government did not ven- 
ture to arrest workers' deputies, but during the proceedings tried 
to involve other more vulnerable people. 

Many times I was asked : " Who edits the newspaper Pravda ? " 
And every court official received the same stereotyped answer : 
" The name of the editor is printed in each copy of the paper and 
the collaborators are thousands of St. Petersburg workers." 

In May 191 3, Pravda was closed down and a few days later 
appeared under the new title of Pravda Truda. This very obvious 
camouflage was resorted to on many other occasions ; the editors 
had a supply of titles all containing the word Pravda : Za Pravdu,. 
Proletarskaya Pravda, Severnaya Pravda and Put Pravdy^ followed 
one after the other. The secret police lost no opportunity of 
suppressing Pravda, yet our work was so well organised that the 
St. Petersburg workers were rarely without their daily newspaper. 

Not the least of our difficulties was the lack of funds. The main 
source of money was the regular collections made among the 
workers at factories and works, but we sometimes received material 
help from individual persons who were in sympathy with the 
workers' revolutionary movement, including Maxim Gorky, who 
helped us whenever he could. Gorky was a regular contributor 
to all Bolshevik publications and he not only lent material support 
himself, hut took steps to procure funds for the paper from others. 

When he returned from abroad, CJorky settled in Finland, not 
far from St. Petersburg, and I visited him there in the summer of 
1913. His help was needed both in regard to the paper and in 
relation to other Party work and I went to see him at the request 
of ihe Party Centre, taking care not to compromise him and subject 
him to fresh police persecution. 

' The En^'Iish translation of the above titles in the order as they are printed, 
reads : I'raida (Truth) of Lahour ; Far I'ravda ; Proletarian Pravda ; 
Northern Pravda ; The Path of Pravda. — Ed. 


Gorky overwhelmed me with questions concerning Party Hfe, 
the state of the revolutionary movement, the underground work, 
the activity of the Duma fraction, etc., and displayed an enormous 
interest in all the details of the struggle. He was particularly 
insistent in all matters which concerned work in the factories and 
I was unable to keep pace with the rate at which he poured out 
questions. With regard to the particular request, Gorky promised 
to do all in his power and devoted much time to helping us to 
obtain the necessary connections and means for the publication of 

Incensed by the tenacity of Pravda, the police became ruthless 
and ignored all legal formalities. Although they had no orders 
of confiscation, they arrested newsvendors, took away bundles of 
Pravda, and did not even trouble to get a retrospective decision 
of the Press Committee to legalise their actions. 

At the end of February 1914, a police detachment under the 
command of a high official, but without any order, raided the 
editorial offices late at night. Locks were wrenched off the doors, 
everything was turned upside down and manuscripts and corres- 
pondence thrown into a heap in the middle of the floor. I was 
informed of the raid by telephone and at once ran to the offices 
and remonstrated with the police about the illegality of the search. 
But, as I no longer figured as the official editor of the paper, the 
officer replied : " Why do you interfere ? You are a stranger in 
this office, it does not concern you." 

" It certainly does. I am a workers' deputy, and this is a workers' 
paper. We are serving the same cause," was my reply. 

The police concluded their search and took away all the material 
that they wanted. On the following day I made another protest 
to the Minister responsible, but it was ineffective ; the Minister 
and the police were working hand in glove. 

At this time, the government introduced a new press law 
into the State Duma, designed to take away the last vestiges of 
the " freedom " conquered in 1905. The police raids on Pravda 
were a foretaste of the intention of this law. The fraction framed 
an interpellation dealing with the illegal confiscation of Pravda 
and on March 4 I spoke in support of the urgency of the 
interpellation. I dealt with the general conditions of the workers' 
press throughout Russia and my speech amounted to an appeal to 
all workers to rally to the defence of Pravda. The Black Hundred 
majority rejected our motion, but my speech attained its object — 
the workers heard our call ; both the amount of collections and 
the number of subscribers to Pravda increased daily. 

Pravda was indispensable during the July days of 19 14. Full 


reports of the development of the struggle were pubHshed every- 
day and the editors were in constant touch with the strike com- 
mittees, helping them and organising collections in aid of the 
strikers. As a consequence the police persecutions increased, fines, 
confiscations and arrests became more frequent and day and night 
the offices were besieged by spies and by every variety of police- 
men. Every number was in danger and was only saved from the 
police with the greatest difficulty. We had to argue as to whetlier 
such or such an article of the law rendered the newspaper liable. 
I spent much time at the editorial offices helping the editors and I 
always carried with me copies of the relevant statutes so as to be 
able to confront the police officials with the actual text. 

When the revolutionary movement in St. Petersburg had reached 
the stage where the workers were constructing barricades, the 
government decided to act. The secret police were instructed that 
our organisations must be smashed and the revolutionary move- 
ment deprived of its principal weapon, the press. 

This time the raid on the newspaper was planned to take place 
at a moment when the principal visitors to Pravda as well as the 
whole editorial board could be arrested. The police descended on 
the offices just after dusk on July 8, when the work was in full 
swing and the workers had just arrived from the districts with their 
correspondence and the workshop collections and on other kinds 
of Party or tr^de union business. I at once went to the offices and 
found the building surrounded by police. After forcing my way 
through with some difficulty, I saw the place was in complete 
disorder, police officials were ransacking all drawers and cup- 
boards and all the collaborators of the paper together with the 
visitors had been arrested and bundled into one room. I was not 
allowed to reach them and had to talk through an open door. 

I at once protested against the search and the arrests and said 
that I would raise the matter in the State Duma. The police 
rang up their superiors and, on being told to proceed without 
ceremony, they ordered me to leave the place at once. I persisted, 
but they forced me out, and drew up the usual charge against me 
for interfering with the actions of the police. 

This ransacking of Pravda was the signal for a series of attacks on 
labour organisations. During the few days just before the declara- 
tion of war the police destroyed all working-class papers, educa- 
titjnal and trade union organisations. Mass arrests were made in 
St. Petersburg and batches of prisoners exiled to the northern 
provinces and Siberia. 

The war brought still more stringent police measures and the 
Party was forced completely underground. Our fraction often 


discussed the question of resuming the pubUcation of a workers' 
newspaper and the matter was on the agenda of the November 
Conference when the whole of the Duma fraction of the Bolsheviks 
was arrested. 

Throughout the war, we were unable to resume the publication 
of Pravda. 

Chapter XXI 


The Decision to Convene a Congress — Lenin's Instructions — Our 

Congress and that of the International — The Menshevik " Plan " — 

Preparations — How Documents were Preserved 

The last (Fifth) All-Russian Party Congress was held in London 
in 1907. The years that followed had witnessed many important 
events in the country and many important changes within the 
Party, It was quite impossible to convene a Party congress during 
the years of the reaction, but now the position had changed. At 
the same time, the amazing development of the working-class 
movement had raised enormous new problems relating to the revo- 
lutionary struggle and given rise to many internal Party problems. 
These matters required to be settled at a Party congress. 

In September 191 3, the Poronino Conference had discussed 
the necessity for a congress and decided that : " The growth 
of the working-class movement, the deepening of the political 
crisis and the necessity for the working class to act on an all- 
Russian scale* make it imperative that a Party congress be con- 
vened after due preparation." The conference invited local 
organisations to discuss the matter, map out a preliminary agenda, 
submit resolutions and organise collections. 

At Poronino, it was decided to call the congress about the same 
time that the Socialist International w-as to meet in congress at 
Vienna, in August 19 14. The Central Committee regarded it as 
both necessary and desirable that the Bolsheviks should play as 
great a part as possible at that Congress. At the same time, since 
the preparatory work for both congresses could be combined, it 
became possible to conduct it more thoroughly and, what is more, 
to screen more efTcctively from the police the very fact of the 
convocation of the Party congress. 

Speaking at the Poronino Conference on the International 
Congress, Lenin pointed out the necessity of ensuring that the 
workers participated in the congress. lie said : 

" Hitherto the Social-Democratic Party has been represented in 
the international arena either by the central Party organs or by its 
various groups abroad, the Vperiodists, Conciliators, etc., made 
up almost entirely of intellectuals. Now we must take steps to ensure 



that the genuine working man be directly represented by delegates 
elected directly from the workers' organisations, trade unions, 
co-operatives, etc. The Duma fraction must assume the representa- 
tion of those organisations which are unable to send their own 
delegates. Every Bolshevik deputy must be present, since they are 
workers themselves and represent the Russian working class." 

Lenin also emphasised the necessity of making the Party con- 
gress coincide with that of the International so that the election of 
delegates could take place at the same time. Preparations for the 
congress began immediately after the conference and discussions 
were started in the local organisations, but the most active work 
was done in the spring and summer of 19 14. 

In April 19 14, together with the usual instructions which the 
fraction received from the Central Committee, there were a num- 
ber of proposals from Lenin on how the preparations for the 
congress should be intensified. 

Lenin insisted that in the first instance the underground organi- 
sations of the Party should be strengthened ; without this, he 
argued, the growth of the Party would prove less eff^ective since 
it would be deprived of revolutionary leadership. The strengthen- 
ing of our underground cells was the chief means of ensuring 
the success of the congress and assisting it in the work of pro- 
moting the further consolidation of the Party. At this congress 
the Liquidators and, in particular, the Menshevik Duma " seven " 
would be finally defeated. 

Lenin pointed out : 

We have won a great victory, a victory for revolutionary Marxism. 
The press, the trade unions and the educational associations are ours. 
But this victory has its dangers. We owe it to our discipline and hard 
work. ... If we want to maintain our position and not allow the 
growing movement to pass beyond Party le;adership and become 
anarchist, we must at all costs strengthen the underground organisa- 
tions. It is possible to dispense with a part of the Duma work, 
although it has been successfully conducted in the past, but we must 
reinforce our activity outside the Duma. We require well-organised, 
disciplined factory groups, ready to act rapidly on instructions 
transmitted from above. ^ 

At this period the proposed agenda of the congress was as 
follows : (i) Report of the Central Committee and local reports ; 
(2) The political situation ; (3) The Party organisation ; (4) The 
strike movement ; (5) The new Press Bill ; (6) The tactics of the 
trade union movement ; (7) The tactics of the social insurance com- 

^ These passages are reproduced from the report of the Moscow Secret 
Police Depa-rtment, dated April 27, 19 14. The material was probably supplied 
by Pelageya (the agent-provocateur Romanov). 


missions ; (S) The Party pro.G;ramme, (n) the national question, 
{b) some supplements to the minimum demands ; (9) The Narod- 
niki ; (10) Attitude to the Liquidators ; (11) Contributing to the 
bourgeois press ; (12) Elections to the Central Committee and the 
Editorial Board of the Party paper ; (13) Current affairs. 

The congress was thus to deal with all fundamental and cardinal 
^questions of internal Party organisation and the tactics of the 
revolutionar\'^ struggle. The number of delegates to the various 
local organisations was also provided for and representatives of 
the Bund, the Lettish, Polish and Lithuanian organisations were 
invited to attend as guests. 

In view of the enormous preparatory work to be performed — 
the election of delegates, the drafting of instructions, the convey- 
ance of the credentials, the safe passage of the delegates across the 
frontier and the collection of funds to defray the expenses — a 
special organisation committee was set up to deal with all matters 
concerning the congress. This committee worked in St. Petersburg 
and local committees were also constituted in the districts, which 
at once proceeded with the work of strengthening and, where 
necessary, rebuilding the local Party organisations ; wherever 
possible, district and city Party conferences were arranged. 

Members of our fraction also proceeded to their districts on 
tours of organisation and agitation in connection with the con- 
gress, and after they had covered their own district they went on 
to other regions in accordance with plans drawn up by Lenin. 
Petrovsky, after visiting the Ukraine, had to go to Esthonia, 
IVIuranov to the Urals and Shagov to Vladimir. Apart from my 
work in St. Petersburg, I had to go to the Caucasus and the Volga 

Simultaneously with the strengthening of local organisations, 
Lenin took measures to consolidate the Central Committee 
working within Russia. For this purpose he proposed to arrange 
for the escape of Stalin and Sverdlov from exile and at the same 
time he arranged for several other comrades to be given responsible 
Party work. I received a letter from Lenin informing me of my 
inclusion on the Russian Bureau of the Central Committee. 

'i'hus the work of preparation for the congress involved a 
general overhauling of the Party organisation and, as I mentioned 
before, it included the preparation lor the International Socialist 

The Russian Party congress was to meet befcjre tlu- International, 
to which our delegates would thus proceed with dclinite instruc- 
tions from the supreme organisation of the Party. The Inter- 
national Socialist Bureau drafted the following agenda for the 


Vienna Congress : (i) Unemployment ; (2) Alcoholism ; (3) 
The rise in prices and the agrarian question ; (4) Imperialism in 
connection with the colonial question ; (5) The conditions of 
Russian political prisoners ; (6) Party unity. 

The inclusion of this last item was the result of the decision 
taken by the International Socialist Bureau in December 191 3, in 
London, with regard to the split in the Duma fraction. The 
question of " unity " had been dealt with at other more recent 
conferences of the Bureau, but without any definite decision being 
arrived at. In view of the exceptional progress of Bolshevism 
among the workers accompanied by the practical extinction of 
Menshevism, it was quite out of place to raise the question of the 
Bolsheviks " uniting " with the Mensheviks. Not less than four- 
fifths of the working class now stood behind the Bolshevik Central 
Committee ; therefore, it was no longer a question of reunion with 
the Mensheviks, but of recognising that they had placed them- 
selves outside of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party, 
and that their " centre " had no claim to existence. This was the 
point of view advocated by the Bolsheviks at the meetings of 
the I.S.B. and the latter decided to submit this question ta 
the congress. 

As in other campaigns carried out in Russia, the major part in 
the preparations for the two congresses fell to the Duma fraction. 
The preparations for the Party congress had, of course, to be kept 
strictly secret, but we were able to conduct a limited amount of 
propaganda for the International Socialist Congress in our press. 
But this was strictly limited ; we did not even call it socialist, 
but referred to it as an international congress of labour organisa- 
tions, congress of trade unions, or by some similar description. 
The masses were accustomed to the guarded language of our news- 
papers and understood what was meant, especially as the speeches 
and the illegal literature supplemented the newspaper reports. In 
the press we discussed a number of questions which referred to 
the International congress, but were essentially connected with 
the Party congress too. 

The Mensheviks were also making their own preparations. 
As they understood that at the Party congress they could at best 
form but a small minority, many of them considered the advisa- 
bility of refusing to attend the congress and organising instead a 
conference of all organisations which took part in the August Bloc 
of 191 2. But they could not refuse to take part in the Interna- 
tional Congress since, in that case, the decision on the Russian 
question would almost certainly be unfavourable to them. There- 
fore they began a lively campaign in all workers' organisations. 


But it was soon obvious that the Liquidators were fighting a 
lost battle. In the trade unions, insurance societies and other 
labour organisations, the majority of the members supported the 
Bolsheviks. In the summer of 1914, the Bolsheviks were in a 
majority on the boards of fourteen out of eighteen trade unions 
existing in St. Petersburg ; on one of the others there was an equal 
number of Bolsheviks and IMensheviks and only three could 
be regarded as INIenshevik. All the largest unions, including 
the metal-workers, supported the Bolsheviks. And a similar 
proportion of Bolsheviks to Mensheviks obtained among the 
representatives of the workers on the insurance societies. 

When it became clear that they could not obtain a majority in the 
workers' organisations and might be even left without delegates to 
the Vienna Congress, the Mensheviks devised the idea of " double 
representation." They first tried this among the metal-workers, 
from whom, they suggested, two delegates should be sent, since 
one, representing the majority only, would be " factional," and 
would describe the unions' activity in a one-sided way. Naturally, 
as soon as the Mensheviks made this suggestion, the Socialist- 
Revolutionaries also demanded a delegate, although their sup- 
porters in the union only amounted to a few score. But the 
Liquidators could not refuse this demand, and thus their system 
would have brought about a multi-coloured delegation at the 
International Congress incapable of expressing the actual stand- 
point of the organisation as a whole. 

The Mensheviks' scheme was overwhelmingly rejected by the 
workers, and as an example of the attitude of the latter, I will quote 
a resolution of a delegates' meeting in the Okhta district : 

We, twenty-five delegates from the workshop committees of the 
Metal- Workers' Union, consider it necessary to send a representative 
to the International Congress who should represent the majority and 
who can adequately and correctly express our standpoint. We con- 
sider the suggestion, that representatives should be sent from the 
various tendencies, to be essentially wrong since it runs counter to 
all ideas of organisation and discipline. 

The scheme of the Mensheviks to misrepresent the workers 
organisations abroad was completely defeated and most of these 
bodies elected Bolsheviks to the Vienna Congress. 

The preparation for the Party congress proceeded satisfactorily. 
The main task of strengthening the local Party units was greatly 
assisted by the growth of revolutionary enthusiasm in the country. 
More and more workers were drawn towards the Party, new groups 
of revolutionary workers joined the ranks and the leading com- 
mittees of the Party gained wider influence over the masses. 


Therefore it was natural that the question of organising an all- 
Russian congress should be discussed with great interest. 

These favourable conditions did not in any way lessen our work. 
The organisation of even the smallest party meeting, not to speak 
of the convocation of regional and city conferences, was attended 
with great difficulties. All our work had to be conducted in secrecy 
and required a thorough knowledge of the technique of conspiracy^ 
since the arrest of one or two delegates might endanger the whole 
congress and be very prejudicial to the interests of the Party.. 
Finally, the collection of funds for the congress was also a very 
serious matter. 

The whole of the St. Petersburg Party organisations threw 
themselves into the work of preparation. Thanks to the summer 
weather we were able to organise meetings in the woods outside 
the city, where we were comparatively free from police raids. 
When we wished to hold large meetings we organised excursions- 
under the auspices of some educational society. After travelling 
some twenty kilometres from St. Petersburg, we went for a 
" walk " into the thicker parts of the woods and there, after 
posting sentries with an agreed password, held our meeting. Such 
meetings were not confined to the business of arranging the 
congress, but discussed all questions of the revolutionary struggle 
which became particularly urgent during 1914. 

The secret police realised that something was afoot and spies 
swarmed all round the party centres, particularly at the editorial 
offices of Pravda and the premises of the fraction. However, our 
technique had improved and, although individual comrades were 
occasionally arrested, there were no wholesale arrests. 

The work was also successfully carried out in the provinces. 
Members of our fraction went from one city to another reorgan- 
ising Party cells, giving instructions, reading reports on the con- 
gress and arranging for the election of delegates. At the same time 
they had to deal with current Party work in connection with the 
strike movement, trade union organisation, the workers' press 
fund, etc. Here, too, Bolshevik organisations played the leading 
role, while the influence of the Mensheviks vanished from month 
to month. 

Preparations for the congress progressed. Credentials and other 
documents found their way to me by secret methods ; the routes of 
delegates to the congress abroad were mapped out and they were 
informed where they had to cross the frontier, etc. Muranov, 
after touring his own district, was working in the Urals, Petrovsky 
was preparing to go to Esthonia, while I had already completed 
preparations in St. Petersburg, but was unable to leave for the 


Volga district because of the work entailed by the July events in 
the city. 

By the time war was declared the principal part of the prepara- 
tions both for the International Congress and the Party congress 
had been completed. Most of the delegates had been elected, 
instructions drafted and credentials collected. The technical 
organisation was also ready — the secret meeting-places, the routes 
and the passports. . Sufficient funds had been collected and there 
was no reason to expect that the congress would not be highly 

The declaration of war and the rabid reaction which accom- 
panied it radically altered the situation in the country. The 
convocation of a Party congress was now rendered impossible, 
especially since the closing of the frontiers made connections with 
foreign countries extremely difficult. The Party congress had 
to be postponed until a more favourable time and the International 
Congress could not meet either. 

Since, however, we considered that perhaps the Party congress 
would be able to take place later, we decided to preserve all the 
documents relating to the congress. These documents, which were 
extremely important since they contained the whole scheme of our 
Party organisation, were at my home. According to the previous 
plan, I was to arrange that they should be forwarded to the Central 
Committee ahroad so that the individual delegates could travel 
without having any compromising papers on them. Now that 
military operations had started at the frontier and all routes and 
correspondence abroad were watched by the military secret 
service, it was impossible to get the documents abroad. 

Yet they were no longer safe at my home. Most of the workers' 
organisations had been destroyed and we felt that it would soon be 
the turn of the Duma fraction. The government had already 
opened a campaign against the workers' deputies and we expected 
the police to raid our homes at any moment. At one time we even 
thought of burning all the material. The days of " parliamentary 
immunity " were drawing to a close and it was necessary to find 
some safe place to keep the documents. 

Finally, we decided to conceal them in Finland, at a place two or 
there hours' train journey from St. Petersburg. I took the docu- 
ments and, having wandered about the city until I had shaken otf 
all spies, went to Finland. We had decided that only one other 
comrade should know of the hiding-place ; I met Comratle 
Olminsky at the appointed station and we buried the documents 
under a tree, placing a heavy stone over the spot to make matters 
more certain. 


After a time, however, I managed to get the documents to the 
Central Committee. The Finnish Social-Democratic Party still 
had facilities for communicating with foreign countries and we 
agreed that their Central Committee should undertake the task. 
I went again to Finland, dug out the documents and took them to 

The Finnish Party was legal and was in a much more favourable 
position than our organisation ; I therefore raised the question 
of their helping us. We had suffered setbacks all along the line and 
funds were necessary to re-establish our work. 

" Our organisation has been smashed," I told the Finnish com- 
rades, " you must help us. We want to borrow both money arid 
printing equipment. We are badly in need of every thousand, 
nay, every hundred, rubles that we can get." 

Although the Finnish Social-Democratic Party was legal and 
therefore open to police surveillance, the Finnish comrades found 
ways to lend us some assistance. 

The nwork of preparation for the Party congress was of great 
importance from the point of view of organisation. All Party units 
took part in the work from the Central Committee down to the 
local cells. Although the Party congress was not held at the time 
fixed owing to the war, the preparations had strengthened and 
consolidated the Party. Party membership had increased and new 
cadres of Party workers had been created. 


Chapter XXII 


The Declaration of War — Workers' Demonstrations durinpj the 
Mobihsation — The Duma Declaration — Refusal to Vote War Credits — 
Conditions of Party Work at the Commencement of the War — First 
Anti-War Proclamations of the St. Petersburg Committee — A Raid 
by the Secret Police — a Journey across Russia 

The Baku strike and the July demonstrations of the St. Petersburg 
workers were the last big revolutionary events before the outbreak 
of war. These struggles had produced many victims among the 
workers. When the mass movement had developed into barricade 
fighting and armed collisions, the tsarist government did not let 
anything stand in the way of their endeavours to crush the 
incipient revolution. The series of lock-outs had struck at the 
economic conditions of the workers and mass arrests and depor- 
tations weakened the political organisation of the working 
class. The proletariat required a certain time to recover, to collect 
its forces for fresh onslaughts on tsarism. The workers were, 
however, denied this respite ; on the contrary, subsequent events 
struck a heavy blow at the revolutionary movement. 

The declaration of war was a signal for the blackest reactionary 
forces to redouble their attacks on the working-class movement. 
In the atmosphere of rabid chauvinism and artificial jingoism, the 
tsarist government savagely repressed all legal and illegal working- 
class organisations. 

The war, although nominally caused by a quarrel between 
Austria and Serbia, was really a gigantic struggle between imperi- 
alist brigands, who were ready to cut each other's throats in the 
fight for new markets. The war promised the bourgeoisie the 
possibility of fresh plunder abroad and enormous profits from 
war orders at home. The bourgeoisie of all countries greeted the 
outbreak of war with delight, cloaking their desire for booty 
under a thin veneer of nationalist ideals. The Russian bourgeoisie 
was no exception in this respect. It had formerly allowed itself 
the liberty of playing at liberalism and opposition, but now for the 
sake of imperialist aspirations it hastened to bend the knee and 
swear wh(jle-iiearted allegiance to the lUig of tsarism. It sud- 
denly discovered that the Romanov autocracy witli its bloody police 



regime and its cruel oppression of the masses was a champion of 
democracy and the defender of small nations against the Prussian 
Junkers and German militarists. 

Patriotic demonstrations were staged in the streets of St. 
Petersburg. House-porters, policemen, secret police, together 
-with the riff-raff of all descriptions paraded the streets, carrying 
portraits of the tsar and national flags, singing " God save the 
tsar," and shouting " hurrah " at the top of their voices. Under 
the protection of the forces of " law and order," the demonstrators 
became brazen, knocking off the hats of passers-by and beating 
up any citizen who was not sufficiently enthusiastic in his patriotism. 
Any such demonstration was liable to be transformed at any 
moment into a crowd of characteristic Russian pogrom-makers. 
In St. Petersburg, the " patriots " smashed the windows of the 
German Embassy, and in Moscow they attacked several German 
commercial and industrial enterprises. 

Patriotic pogroms alternated with ceremonies of kneeling in 
front of the tsar's palace. Even the students, who were formerly 
so proud of their " Left " traditions, stood on their knees before the 
Winter Palace, shouting hurrahs and paying homage to their 
*' beloved " sovereign. 

Under cover of the wave of chauvinism which swept over the 
country the tsarist police hastened to settle accounts with its old 
" internal enemy," the most advanced section of the Russian 
proletariat. By a stroke of the pen, such working class organisa- 
tions as still survived were suppressed. Siberia was once again 
crowded with exiles, and party organisations lost many of their 
best members. The war, for which the bourgeoisie had been 
preparing for some time, found the working-class not only un- 
prepared, but recently defeated in a serious encounter with the 
forces of tsarism. At the same time, certain groups of backward 
"workers, who did not grasp the real significance of events, were 
infected by the widely diffused poison of patriotism. In these 
.circumstances it was difficult to envisage any widespread organised 
xesistance to the war-madness and war-reaction by the Russian 

And yet, despite these handicaps, a number of anti-war actions 
took place in St. Petersburg in the first days of the war. As 
soon as general mobilisation was announced, the St. Petersburg 
Committee issued its first anti-war proclamation : " A sanguinary 
spectre haunts Europe," " Down with war ! War against 
war ! These words must re-echo through all the cities and 
villages of Russia." This was the Party's appeal to the workers, 
peasants and soldiers. " The workers must remember that 

THE WAR 197 

^vorkers across the frontier are not their enemies. The workers of 
all countries are oppressed by the rich and governing classes, they 
are exploited every\vhere. . . , Soldiers and workers, you are 
being called upon to die for the glory of the cossack whips, for the 
glory of your country' — your country, which shoots down workers 
and peasants and which imprisons your best sons. We must 
declare that we do not want this war. Our battle-cry is ' Liberty 
for Russia.' " ■ 

This proclamation was hastily drafted as soon as the news of the 
outbreak of war had become known, and only contained a brief 
survey of the situation, but it will be seen that the St. Petersburg 
Party organisation had already given the cue which was subse- 
quently strengthened, developed and completed by all other Party 

Although communications with the provinces were interrupted 
immediately, we had little doubt that a similar spirit animated the 
advanced provincial workers. We obtained only fragmentary 
news of which a letter I received from Kostroma a few days after 
the mobilisation is typical. This letter contained the following 
resolution adopted by a group of Kostroma workers : 

We protest most emphatically against the action of the tsarist 
government in involving the Russian proletariat in a fratricidal war 
with the proletariat of Germany and Austria. We ask the Duma 
Social- Defnocratic W^orkers' Fraction what steps it has taken against 
the war and what it has done to express fraternal solidarity with the 
proletariat of the belligerent states. 

On the day that the army was mobilised the workers of about 
twenty factories struck in St. Petersburg in protest against the 
war. In some places the workers met the reservists with shouts 
of " Down with the war " and with revolutionary songs. But the 
demonstrations now took place under conditions different from 
those of a few weeks before. The onlookers, particularly in the 
centre of the city, were incited by patriotic sentiment and no 
longer maintained a " friendly neutrality," but took an active 
part in hunting down the demonstrators and helping the police to 
make arrests. 

One such " patriotic " outburst occurred in the Nevsky 
Prospect on the first day of mobilisation, while a workers' demon- 
stration was marching past the town Duma. 'I'he people in the 
street, mostly bourgeois loafers, who usually hid themselves or 
made off through side streets when workers' demonstrations 
appeared, now became very active and, with shouts of" traitors," 
assisted the pcjiice U) beat up the demonstrators. The police were 
able to arrest the workers and take them off to tlu- poliic station. 


In such conditions it was impossible to organise a widespread 
movement against the war and the heroic acts of individual workers 
were drowned in a sea of mihtant patriotism. 

In order to demonstrate more clearly the complete " unity " of 
the tsar with the people and, above all, to get war credits voted, 
the State Duma was hastily convened. Most of the deputies 
from the extreme Right to the Cadets were thoroughly war- 
minded and talked of nothing but " war until victory is won," 
'* defence of.the fatherland," etc. The newspapers competed with 
each other in reproducing the patriotic utterances of the party 
leaders in the Duma on the necessity of combining to fight the 
foreign enemy. 

The bourgeois press was very anxious about the attitude 
the workers' deputies would adopt with regard to the war. While 
I was receiving visits from workers one evening at home, a crowd 
of bourgeois journalists from all the St. Petersburg papers, from 
the Black Hundred Zemschina to the Left Den, arrived and asked 
me a number of questions. 

" What is the attitude of the workers towards the war ? What 
is the position taken up by your fraction ? What do the workers' 
deputies propose to do in the Duma ? " 

Producing their note-books and pencils, they made ready 
to take down my answers. But what I said was altogether unsuit- 
able for publication in their newspapers. I declared : 

The working class will oppose the war with all its force. The war is 
against the interests of the workers. On the contrary, its edge is 
turned against the working class all over the world. The Basle 
Congress of the Socialist International, in the name of the world 
proletariat, passed a resolution declaring that, in case of the declara- 
tion of war, our duty was to wage a determined struggle against 
it. We, the real representatives of the working class, will fight for the 
slogan " War against War." Every member of our fraction will 
fight against the war with all the means at his disposal. 

Needless to say, my answer was not published in any newspaper, 
but immediately became known to the secret police, who saw in 
my words a confirmation of the anti-war position of our Party, 
and I began to receive abusive letters written not to convince but 
to terrorise. 

" You will share the fate of Herzenstein and Yollos," was the 
theme of several letters from members of the Black Hundreds. 
Herzenstein and Yollos were two deputies of the previous Dumas 
assassinated by members of the Union of the Russian People with 
the connivance of the secret police. One of the letters also con- 

THE WAR 199 

tained a drawing of a skeleton, representing the fate that would 
overtake me. 

When the workers learned of these threats, they insisted on 
providing me with a special guard at my home. Despite my 
protests as to the impossibility of protecting oneself against the 
assassin's bullet, the workers insisted on this proposal. 

This occurred in the first few days of the war, before the public 
declaration of the fraction which was to be made in the Duma 
during the discussion on the war credits vote. At first we attempted 
to work out a joint declaration for the two Social- Democratic 
fractions and the Trudoviks. After consulting with Party com- 
rades who were in St. Petersburg, we decided to insist that the 
declaration should emphatically condemn the war and definitely 
refuse any support from the working class. Negotiations were 
opened between the three fractions, but the Trudoviks left at the 
first consultation. Kerensky, Chkheidze and myself were present, 
and Kerensky declared bluntly that the Trudoviks considered it 
necessary to declare in favour of war. Chkheidze wavered at first, 
inclining toward the need of " defending the country." 

However, after prolonged negotiations the two fractions 
proceeded to draft a joint declaration. The main lines of the 
declaration were decided at a conference attended by some mem- 
bers of our St. Petersburg Committee and som'e prominent 
Mensheviks. The first draft was drawn up, if I remember right, 
by Sokolov. Later in the day Shagov and Pctrovsky returned to 
St. Petersburg and joined us. Later more deputies of both frac- 
tions arrived, and after several more meetings and much discus- 
sion, the final text of the declaration was agreed to by both 
Bolsheviks and Mensheviks. 

The next sitting of the Duma was to be held on July 26. A 
few days previously, most of the deputies, this time the Trudoviks 
included, went to a reception at the palace they were able 
to give full vent to their sentiments of loyalty to the tsar. Rod- 
zvanko opened the Duma with a highly patriotic speech about the 
" complete unity between the tsar and his loyal people" : for the 
" defence of the State " and how " all the nationalities inhabiting 
Russia had merged into one fraternal family when their fatherland 
was in danger," etc. These clap-trap formulas of militant pat- 
riotism were subsequently repeated with slight alterations by the 
leaders of the parties which composed the Duma majority. 
Kerensky, spcakint^ for the Trudoviks, read a declaration which, 
after a few pseudo-revolutionary phrases, asserted that the 
Trudoviks were firmly convinced that " the great elemental force 
of Russian democracy would ofi'er a determined and successful 


resistance to the enemy and would protect its home country and 
its culture which had been created by the sweat and blood of past 

The declaration of the Social-Democratic fraction was then 
read, but Rodzyanko censored it before it was printed in the 
stenographic report. 

Although our declaration did not contain a clear and precise 
characterisation of the war or of the position of the working class 
and did not give a well-defined revolutionary lead, yet, when set 
off against the jingo background, it sounded a clear call of protest 
against the war madness. In contrast to the statements made by 
the other parties, the Social-Democratic declaration resolutely 
condemned the war and opposed to it the solidarity of the working 
class, denying the existence of any " unity " between the tsar and 
the people which had been so hypocritically welcomed by the 
Black Hundred Duma. 

After its patriotic orgy, the State Duma proceeded to vote 
the war budget. In accordance with decisions taken at all con- 
gresses of the International, our fraction refused to take any part in 
the voting and left the hall. Our declaration and our refusal to vote 
war credits raised a storm of protest from the Duma majority. 
Deputies from all other parties, including the left Cadets and 
Progressives, lost their temper and attacked us in the lobbies. 

" What are you doing ? You are the representatives of the 
workers and should lead them, but instead you are dragging 
the Russian people to the edge of an abyss. You will destroy the 

The Right were very abusive and threatened to deal with us 
later, although quite ready to fall upon us then and there. We 
left the Duma followed by the threatening shouts of the Duma 
" diehards." 

Our anti-war stand in the Duma soon became widely known 
among the workers and it was taken as the guiding line for the anti- 
war work of the Party. We began gradually to rebuild our under- 
ground work, directed mainly towards organising the masses for a 
struggle against the war. The difficulties of Party work in the 
atmosphere which was created in the early days of the war and the 
difficulties of maintaining connections with the Central Committee 
abroad became intensified more than ever before. The Austrian 
authorities had arrested Lenin and it was two months before we 
could satisfactorily re-establish communications with the foreign 
centre. Our chief work was anti-war propaganda which, under 
war conditions, rendered every member who was caught liable to 
trial by court-martial and almost certain death. 

THE WAR 20 1 

After the destruction of Pravda and the labour press the Duma 
fraction remained the only rallying centri? for the Party forces. 
The St. Petersburg Committee had been destroyed, and scarcely 
any of its members were left in St. Petersburg. Many had been 
arrested and others were forced into hiding in the adjoining dis- 
tricts. Their chief base was Finland, where Olminsky, Yeremeyev, 
Kamenev, Demyan Bedny, Gorky and other comrades were living. 
It was extremely difficult to keep in close touch with them, but it 
was ver)' important that the Committee should be reconstructed. 
On the other hand, it was imperative to keep the activity of the 
St. Petersburg Committee as secret as p^sible. Hence the new St. 
Petersburg Committee had fewer members, although it was 
confronted with a larger amount of work. 

The first task of the Committee was to establish contacts with 
the districts and to reorganise the printing facilities for the issue 
of proclamations. We had to make arrangements to dismantle the 
printing plant and transfer it and all other accessories to another 
place as soon as a proclamation had been printed. By this means, 
although the secret police continually arrested fresh batches of 
our members, we were able to continue our work. 

T took the draft of the first proclamation to Finland to be edited 
from there. As the frontier was very carefully watched, I put one 
copy of the draft in my top-boot and another in a matchbo.x which 
I could burn at any moment if I was searched by the police. At 
the appointed place I met Comrade Yeremeyev and spent the 
whole night correcting the draft. The next morning, taking 
the same precautions, I returned to St. Petersburg and handed the 
draft to the group of comrades who were to print and distribute 
it. These comrades used to go to the most crowded points of the 
town — to the railway stations and the mobilisation depots — and 
give the proclamations to the reservists or sometimes push them 
into their pockets. 

The St. Petersburg Committee issued its second proclamation 
on the war in the beginning of August. This proclamation dealt 
with the necessity of conducting propaganda among the troops, 
with preparing for an armed struggle, and with the approaching 
social revolutifjn. Thus, the slogan of " War against war " was 
evolving into a practical programme of utilising the war for the 
revolutionary struggle. 

'I'hc appearance of this proclamation alarmed the secret police, 
who had hoped they had succeeded in completely smashing the 
Party organisations and that their repressive measures and the 
prevailing patriotism had cut away the ground from under the 
i'cet of the revolutionary parties, 'i'hc proclamation demonstrated 


that the Bolsheviks, far from being destroyed, were making use of 
the situation to further the revolutionary movement. The govern- 
ment decided to stamp out this " treason " and the secret police 
began to hunt down those comrades who were associated with the 
printing of the proclamation and to search for the illegal printing- 
press. Several arrests were made but the press was not discovered.^ 

Two weeks later we were able to issue another manifesto in the 
name of the St. Petersburg Comn)ittee. Despite the strict war- 
time measures, the manifestos were distributed at the factories and 
works and reached the reservists and to some extent the regular 
troops. They fulfilled their purpose of gradually reinforcing the 
revolutionary sentiments of the masses and dispersing the chau- 
vinist fog spread by the government press. We exposed the true 
face of the imperialist war and appealed to the masses to prepare 
for an armed struggle under the banner of the international 
solidarity of the proletariat. 

Gradually Party cells were reconstructed and Party members 
who had escaped arrest gathered around themselves all active 
workers and observing" strict rules of secrecy recommenced their 
work. In the absence of any other legal working-class organisa- 
tions. Party members turned their attention to the insurance 
societies which gave them contacts with the workers. District 
organisations were again formed and in some districts the work 
became very lively and delegates were sent to the St. Petersburg 
Committee. With great difficulty, and not so quickly as we would 
have desired, the Bolshevik organisation in St. Petersburg began 
to revive, to gather in new links and cells, and was able to con- 
tinue its revolutionary work, directed now mainly towards 
fighting the war and preparing for revolutionary action by the 
working class. 

The provinces slowly followed suit. In the second half of 
August I went round Russia on a tour originally planned in con- 
nection with the preparation for the Party congress and which I 
now used for the purpose of strengthening and re-establishing the 

^ It can be seen from the documents preserved in the Archives of the Police 
Department that the secret pohce considered that I was the chief agent in the 
issuing of these manifestos. The chief of the secret police reported that though 
" the St. Petersburg Committee has ceased its activity " yet " the restless 
youthful members of the illegal organisations are not content with their 
enforced inactivity and, under the influence of the Social-Democratic deputy, 
Badayev, have begun to issue a series of leaflets dealing with current events 
with the set purpose of discrediting the government's conduct of the war." 
The secret police were obviously acting under instructions to prepare the 
material necessary for my arrest and prosecution. But they failed to obtain the 
proofs they expected from their searches and reported : " All measures will 
be taken to obtain from persons arrested confessions which will prove that the 
deputy Badayev is engaged in revolutionary propaganda." 

THE WAR 203 

local Party organisations. I proposed to visit some Volga cities 
and then proceed to Baku and Titiis, for the Baku organisation 
had been destroyed after the long strike in the summer. I was also 
to initiate preparations for a Party conference proposed for the 

In order to avoid spies I had to leave St. Petersburg secretly. 
After having walked about the city for some time I went to a forest 
near the Obukhovo station and waited until I saw a goods train 
approaching, then I ran to the line and jumped on the train which 
took me to Lyuban. Concordia Samoylova and Yuriev, who were 
living there since the destruction of the Party organisation, met me 
at an agreed spot and handed me a railway ticket. I went to the 
station just before the train left, climbed into a carriage and at 
once clambered into an upper bunk. The secret police soon missed 
me from St. Petersburg and hunted for me unsuccessfully all over 
the city. 

I visited a number of cities, got in touch with Party members and 
with their help held a series of meetings. I gave them addresses 
to which they could safely send correspondence and literature and 
took part in settling various questions of local Party activity. 

In Baku it was necessary to build up the organisation anew. 
_ After several conferences with Baku Bolsheviks, including Com- 
rade Shaumyan^ I decided to organise large meetings of workers 
throughout the oil-fields. These meetings, however, were never 
held ; some ageyit-provocateiir had managed to sneak into the 
conferences and I was immediately surrounded by spies who 
prevented me going any^vhere without endangering the persons I 
met. In these circumstances we had to give up the idea of holding 
large workers' meetings and, as I could not continue with a string 
of spies at my heels, I was forced to return directly to St. Peters- 

On my arrival at St. Petersburg, I learned that a large force of 
secret police had been mobilised to discover my whereabouts. 
And, in the Duma, I was told how happy Junkovsky was when at 
last he was informed that I had turned up in Baku. In a conversa- 
tion with a member of the Duma, Junkovsky had said, without 
attempting to hide his satisfaction : " Badayev had completely 
disappeared, but now we have found him in Baku." 

It was now September, and the other members of our fraction 
returned to St. Petersburg soon afterwards. Although they had 
had to discontinue their work of preparing for the congresses, they 
had strengthened Party work in the provinces. News from the 
localities brought evidence that our anti-war propaganda met 
with the support of the revolutionary workers. 

Chapter XXIII 


The Treachery of the Second International — Vandervelde's Letter — - 
The Mensheviks Support the War — Lenin's Theses on the War — 
The Conference — Proclamation to the Students — Discussion of 

the Theses " - 

By developing our Party work, conducting anti-war propaganda,, 
and organising a campaign against war, we were acting in accord- 
ance with the decisions c " the International Socialist Congresses. 
These congresses had repeatedly condemned war between 
bourgeois governments, stressed the duty of Social-Democrats to 
vote against war credits in parliaments and appealed to the 
workers to end by means of an armed insurrection any war which 
might occur. 

The Basle Congress, the last congress before the war, held in 
1 91 2 during the war crisis in the Balkans, addressed a manifesto 
to the world proletariat in which it declared : " Let the govern- 
ments remember that the Franco-Prussian war called forth the 
revolutionary explosion of the Commune, that the Russo-Japanese 
war brought in its wake the revolutionary movement of all the 
nations within the Russian Empire, . . . The workers of the 
world regard it as a crime to shoot each other in the name of 
capitalist profits, dynastic rivalries or secret diplomacy." Our 
Duma fraction based its work on these statements. 

Our fraction, then just organised, had sent the following letter to 
the Basle Congress : " War and bloodshed are necessary to the 
ruling classes, but the workers of all countries demand peace at 
all costs. And we, Russian workers, extend fraternal hands to the 
workers of all other countries and join with them in their protest 
against war — the disgrace of our time." Later, in April I913, when 
there was a danger of a Russo- Austrian clash, the Duma Social- 
Democratic fraction exchanged letters with the Social-Democratic 
fraction in the Austrian parliament and with the executive com- 
mittee of the Hungarian Social-Democratic party. At that time we 
wrote : 

The nations within the Russian Empire know of no justification for 
this criminal war ... we scornfully repulse the anti-German and 
anti- Austrian agitation of Russian liberals who try to varnish with a 


THE WAR 205 

progressive colour the barbaric attempt to incite the Russian peoples 
against the Germans and everything German. . . . 

In their reply, the Austrian Social-Democrats expressed joy and 
satisfaction with our attitude : 

We regard your fearless action again Pan-Slav chauvinism as 
one of the best guarantees of European democracy and European 
peace. . . . We are bitterly hostile to your oppressors but we are 
bound to the Russian people by indissoluble ties in a common 
struggle for peace and freedom. 

As is well known, on the day after war was declared, the 
leaders of the International committed one of the greatest betrayals 
in history and deserted the standard of the international working 
class. Carried away by the wave of nationalism, the Socialist 
Parties followed the lead of their respective governments and 
became tools in the hands of their national bourgeoisie. The 
notorious doctrine of " defencism " made its appearance. The 
leaders betrayed the revolution and adopted the theory that once 
war had been declared it was necessary to defend the fatherland, 
joining the bourgeois press in inciting the worst jingoist passions 
and calling for a ruthless struggle against the " enemy." The 
German Social-Democrats declared that they w^ere fighting 
Russian tsarism, while the Allied Socialists* asserted that they 
supported the war against German militarism and Prussian 
Junkerdom. Both sides thus supported the imperialist brigands 
in their attempts to destroy their competitors at the expense of the 
lives of millions of workers and peasants. 

I shall not deal with the details of this betrayal, the voting of 
war credits and the acceptance of posts in bourgeois cabinets, but 
shall refer to an attempt to lead the Russian Social-Democrats 
along the same path. This task was undertaken by Emil Vander- 
velde, Belgian Socialist and Chairman of the International, who 
became a minister in the Belgian government in the early days of 
the war. 

A few months previously, in the spring of 1914, Vandervelde 
came to Russia in order to become acquainted with the Russian 
working-class movement. At conferences with representatives ot 
the various Social-Democratic tendencies, including our Bolshevik 
fraction, he had ample opportunity to acquaint himself with the 
irreconcilable struggle which the Russian pn^lelariat was waging 
against tsarism. During his stay in Russia he was able to observe 
th't ruthless oppression of the workers by tsarist autocracy. After 
all this it was particularly strange to hear from Vandervelde a 
pnjposal to cease the struggle against tsarism and to support the 
war which it had engineered. N'andervelde's action is a clear 


example of the opportunism which overtook the leaders of the 
International and which finally led them into the position of aiders 
and abettors of the international bourgeoisie. 

Vandervelde's proposal was addressed to both Social-Demo- 
cratic Duma fractions, and naturally the tsarist government 
willingly allowed this foreign telegram to reach us. The wording 
of the telegram reveals the depths of chauvinism to which the 
European Social-Democrats had fallen : 

For Socialists of Western Europe, the defeat of Prussian Militarism 
— I do not say of Germany, which we love and esteem — is a matter 
of life or death. . . . But in this terrible war which is inflicted on 
Europe owing to the contradictions of bourgeois society, the free 
democratic nations are forced to rely on the military support of the 
Russian government. 

It depends largely on the Russian revolutionary proletariat whether 
this support will be effective or not. Of course, I cannot dictate to 
you what you should do, or what your interests demand ; that is for 
you to decide. But I ask you — and if our poor Jaures were alive he 
would endorse my request — to share the common standpoint of 
socialist democracy in Europe. . . . We believe that we should all 
unite to ward off this danger and we shall be happy to learn your 
opinion on this matter — happier still if it coincides with ours. 
This telegram was proudly signed " Emil Vandervelde,, 
delegate of the Belgian workers to the International Socialist 
Bureau and Belgian minister since the declaration of war." 

Vandervelde stated that he allowed us to make any use we liked 
of his telegram ; in other words he proposed that we should use 
it as an argument for stopping our struggle against the war. 

It was quite obvious that we could only return one answer. 
There could be no talk of making peace with tsarism, which 
remained the principal and implacable enemy of the working class. 
On the other hand the workers had no enemies in the armies 
which were facing each other. The enemy in each case was on the 
near side of the trenches, represented by the national bourgeoisie, 
against whom the weapon had to be directed. This was the only 
way in which the Party of the revolutionary proletariat could reply 
to the appeal of Vandervelde, the king's minister. 

At first it seemed that the Mq^sheviks also were bound to share 
this point of view. In the joint declaration read in the Duma on 
July 26, the Mensheviks refused to support the war and did not 
suggest concluding a truce with the government. But the example 
of the West European opportunists made them waver in, and then 
change, their position and they too sank to social patriotism and 

Among the Mensheviks there were several supporters of the 

THE WAR 207 

final victon,' of Russia, who considered that it was wrong to vote 
against war credits and to oppose the war. Vandenxlde's message 
gave rise to violent discussions within the IMenshevik fraction as 
to the reply which should he sent. In the final draft they withdrew 
their opposition to the war and, after enumerating the hardships 
suffered under tsarism, wrote : 

But in spite of these circumstances, bearing in mind the inter- 
national significance of the European conflict and the fact that 
Socialists of the advanced countries are participating in it, which 
enables us to hope that it may be solved in the interests of inter- 
national Socialism, we declare that by our work in Russia we are not 
opposing the war. 

The Romanov autocracy was so savage and repulsive that the 
Mensheviks were, of course, unable to declare openly their 
support of the government ; nevertheless their reply was equiva- 
lent to such support. This decision not to oppose the war implied 
a renunciation of the last traces of a revolutionary struggle against 
the government, surrendering the working class to the tender 
mercies of tsarism. 

The Bolshevik fraction also drafted its reply to Vandervelde, 
explaining our attitude to the tasks of the working class in the 
war. The draft was submitted to a conference qf the fraction and 
Part}' members which was held in Finland at the end of September, 
in Kamencv's apartment. 

After thorough discussion the text drafted by the fraction was 
approved. In our reply we rejected outright any suggestion 
of supporting the war and ceasing the struggle against the govern- 
ment. In opposition to this, we advocated as the task of the Party 
the utilisation of the war crisis to further the revolution. Military 
victory for Russian tsarism would merely strengthen the auto- 
cratic regime and make the Russian government the greatest 
obstacle and menace to international democracy. We wrote : 

In no circumstances can the Russian proletariat co-operate with 
the government, nor can it even call for a temporary truce or render 
it any support. This is not a question of passivity. On the contrary 
we consider it our most urgent task to wage an implacable struggle 
against tsarism, on the basis of the demands advanced and supported 
by the Russian working class during the revolutionary days of 1905, 
demands which in the past two years have won widespread support 
in the mass political movement of the Russian workers. During this 
war, which involves millions of workers and peasants, our task is to 
counteract the hardships caused by the war by means of developing 
and strengthening the class organisaticjns f)f the proletariat and wide 
masses of democracy and utilising the war crisis in order to prep;irc 
the masses for the successful realisation of the tasks of 1905. .At the 


present moment we demand the convocation of a Constituent 
Assembly and we demand it in the interests of that democracy which 
your telegram invites us to support. ... This is the only way in 
which we can serve the Russian working class and world democracy, 
as well as the cause of the International, which, we believe, will have 
to play an important role in the near future. When the results of this 
terrible war are summed up, the eyes of backward sections of the 
masses will be opened and they will be forced to seek salvation from 
the horrors of militarism and capitalism in the only possible way, 
namely by the realisation of our common Socialist ideal. 

The full text of this reply, signed by the Central Committee, 
was published in the November issue (No. 33) of the Sotsial- 

In addition to deciding on the answer to Vandervelde, the con- 
ference dealt with certain current questions of Party life. It was 
decided to issue another anti-war proclamation (this was published 
in the beginning of October), and the provisional date for the next 
All-Russian Party conference was agreed upon. It was proposed 
that the discussion of the Party attitude to the war should be one 
of the main items on the agenda. 

Lenin's Theses on the War, which had now reached Russia, 
were to serve as the basis for this discussion. These theses, 
written in September 19 14, defined for the first time the attitude 
of the Bolshevik Central Committee to the war. Lenin wrote : 

From the point of view of the working class and the labouring 
masses of all the peoples of Russia, by far the lesser evil would be the 
defeat of the tsarist arrhies and tsarist autocracy. . . ?■ 

The seventh and last point of the theses advanced the following 
slogans for Party work : 

First, an all-embracing propaganda of the Socialist revolution, to 
be extended also to the army and the area of military activities ; 
emphasis to be placed on the necessity of turning weapons, not 
against the brother wage-slaves of other countries, but against the 
reaction of the bourgeois governments and parties of all countries ; 
recognition of the urgent necessity of organising illegal nuclei and 
groups^in the armies of all nations to conduct such propaganda in all 
languages ; a merciless struggle against the chauvinism and pat- 
riotism of the philistines and bourgeoisie of all countries without 
exception. Against the leaders of the present International who have 
betrayed Socialism, it is imperative to appeal to the revolutionary 
consciousness of the working masses who bear the brunt of the war 
and are in most cases hostile to chauvinism and opportunism. . . . 

These theses formed the foundation for the manifesto of the 
Central Committee published in No. 33 of the Sotsial-Demokrat, 
1 Lenin, Works, Vol. XVIII, p. 63. 





THE WAR 209 

the Party organ, the first number issued after the Dutbreak of war. 
The manifesto, which revealed the real mcanins^ of the imperialist 
war and exposed the treason of the leaders of the International, 
explained as follows the anti-war position of Russian Social- 
Democracy : 

Our party, the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party, has 
suffered, and will yet suffer, great losses in connection with the war. 
All our legal workers' press has been annihilated. Most of the trade- 
unions have been dissolved and large numbers of our comrades have 
been imprisoned and exiled. But our parliamentary reprcs.'iitatives 
forming the Russian Social-Democratic Workers' Fraction in the 
State Duma considered it their unquestionable Socialist duty not to 
vote for the war credits and even to leave the meeting-hall of 
the Duma in order more energetically to express their protest ; thev 
considered it their duty to brand the politics of the European govern- 
ments as imperialist. Notwithstanding the tenfold increase of the 
tsarist government's oppression, our comrade workers in Russia 
are already publishing their first illegal appeals against the war, 
doing their duty by democracy and by the International. . . , 

And then, later on : 

To turn the present imperialist war into civil war is tiie onlv 
correct proletarian slogan. It is indicated by the experience of the 
Commune, it was outlined by the Basle resolution (191 2) and it 
follows from all the conditions of imperialist war between highly 
developed bo'urgeois countries. . . . 

Lenin's theses and the Central Committee's manifesto confirmed 
the correctness of the policy which we had followed in Russia 
since the commencement of the war and at the same time strength- 
ened that policy by a clear and precise formulation of " defeatism," 
as the Rolshevik anti-war programme was subsequently called. 

When these documents, after great difficulty and in a roundabout 
way, finally reached us from abroad, we had first of all to inform 
representatives of local organisations and then together with these 
representatives work out how the slogans should be applied in 
pr.ictice, i.e. to plan a definite programme of action. This was the 
in lin object of the Party conference called by the fraction in 
November 19 14. 

The confererrce had to find a way of freeing the revolutionar}' 
movement from the depression which had set in on the outbreak 
of war. Working-class organisations had been destroyed and a 
reactionary war terror was raging with increasing force. The 
reconstruction of the Party organisation in these conditions re- 
quired strenuous and persistent effort, technical means were 
required too. All these main questions of Party work »^cre to 


form the objects of the conference : the strengthening of contacts 
between the centre and the local organisations, the organisation of 
Party work in the army, the setting up of illegal printing presses, 
the publication of a newspaper, the maintenance of communica- 
tion with organisations abroad, finance, etc. 

We prepared for the conference with the greatest caution and in 
strict secrecy. Members of the fraction journeyed through 
the provinces arranging for the election of delegates from all 
the important industrial centres. The delegates were given 
addresses of secret meeting-places in St. Petersburg to obtain 
there all necessary information. In order not to arouse the sus- 
picions of the police, the delegates did not meet the deputies until 
the conference itself. 

Originally it was intended that the conference should be held in 
Finland, but subsequently we found a suitable place in the 
outskirts of St. Petersburg in the suburb of Ozyorky. Most of the 
houses were uninhabited in the winter and No. 28 Viborg Road, 
where lived Gavrilov, a factory clerk, whose wife allowed us to use 
their apartment, was almost isolated. Ozyorky was a particularly 
convenient district because it could be reached by tramcar as well 
as by railv/ay and the terminus was not far from the Gavrilovs* 

After a part of the delegates had arrived in St. Petersburg, the 
date of the conference was fixed. We all made our way to Ozyorky 
by different routes. I left home early in the morning and started 
out in the opposite direction. Having dodged the spies I ap- 
proached the Neva, jumped into a boat and crossed to the other 
side ; this was a favourite way of avoiding all pursuit because it 
was difficult for anybody to get a second boat immediately. On 
the other side, after altering my direction a number of times, I 
finally reached the conference. 

The other members of the conference had to adopt a similar 
strategy. The small room contained our Duma fraction, Petrovsky, 
Muranov, Samoylov, Shagov and myself, and the delegates from 
the districts : M. Voronin from Ivanovo-Voznesensk, N. N. 
Yakovlev^ from Kharkov, Linde from Riga and two representatives 
from St. Petersburg, N. Antipov, member of the Executive of the 
St. Petersburg Committee, and I. Kozlov, a Putilov worker, mem- 
ber of the Insurance Board. It was agreed that Kamenev should 
come from Finland on the next day. Many of the delegates were 
unable to attend ; one, Alexey Japaridze, from the Caucasus, fell 

^ Comrade . Yakovlev was President of the Yenisseisk Province Executive 
Committee at the beginning of the revolution. He was shot by Kolchak during 
the Civil War. 

THE WAR 211 

into the hands of the poUce when he left the railway station in St. 
Petersburg ; others were prevented from leaving their respective 

The conference started work on the evening of November 2^ 
when all the delegates read reports on conditions in their districts. 
They described the state of Party organisation, the progress of 
Party work and the feelings of the workers, particularly with regard 
to the war. Part}' cells had suffered heavily as well as the legal 
organisations ; our Party, the leader and guide of the proletariat, 
had been half destroyed. Yet the skeleton still existed, some Party 
work was still being done and the question of its extension was 
bound up w ith the question of preserving the Duma fraction which 
acted as the centre and core of the whole organisation. 

On the strength of the reports a number of decisions were 
adopted, taken down by Yakovlev, who acted as secretary to the 

The conference then proceeded to the question of a proclama- 
tion addressed to students. A joint committee of Bolshevik groups 
in the Mining, Technological, Medical and Agricultural Institutes 
had been formed and was displaying considerable activity. We 
decided to issue a proclamation to assist them in their work. 

Proclamations issued in St. Petersburg were usually sanctioned 
either by the Bureau of the Central Committee or by the St. 
Petersburg Cpmmittee, but if this was impossible for technical 
reasons, I had the text approved by some group of Party members 
and then handed it directly to the printers. 

In view of the importance of anti-war pronouncements, I 
decided to submit this proclamation for the consideration of the 
conference, where it was discussed and sanctioned. The proclama- 
tion to the students shows how consistent our attitude to the war 
was. From the first leaflets which gave simple anti-war slogans 
we passed on to a relatively detailed analysis and drew definite 
conclusions from it. 

On the second day the conference passed on to the main 
(|uestion of the Party's war platform. Comrade Kamenev opened 
ihe discussion. Lenin's theses, which served as the basis for the 
attitude taken up by the Central Committee towards the war, 
corresponded to the position which we, in Russia, had taken since 
the outbreak of war, and definitely confirmed the correctness of 
that policy. The more precise and clear formulation given by 
Lenin had completed the task of framing the anti-war platform 
and our job now consisted in working out how that plattorrn 
should be realised in practice and made widely known throughout 
the country. 


The discussion of the theses proceeded methodically, point by 
point, and all delegates participated in the debate, but no objec- 
tions were raised to the principles outlined, although certain 
formal amendments were suggested. It was accompanied by the 
discussion of practical suggestions as to how to carry on our anti- 
war propaganda. But before the conference could complete its 
work, the police broke into the room and arrested everyone present. 

Chapter XXIV 


How the Secret Police Made Ready for the Raid— The Raid — The 
Arrest — Maklakov Reports to Nicholas the Second — The Government 
Engineers the Trial — The Duma on the Arrest of the Fraction — 
Proclamation of the St. Petersburg Committee — Action of the Workers 
—Lenin on the Arrest of the Bolshevik Fraction 

The archives of the police department, which are now thrown open 
to the public, show how the secret police made ready to deal with 
our conference. The tsarist government, which had been seeking 
this opportunity for a long time, decided that this was a chance to 
catch the Bolshevik deputies red-handed. Information concerning 
the conference was supplied by the agent " Pelagcya," the 
pseudonym of the agent -provocateur Romanov, a member of the 
Moscow Party organisation. Romanov was to take part in the con- 
ference as the delegate from Moscow, but when they decided to 
raid the conference, the secret police ordered him to stay away. 
The police department sent instructions to Moscow* to the effect 
that " the presence of agents at the conference itself is not desirable, 
but they should remain in close touch with the delegates in order 
to be able to inform us of the time and place of the conference." 
At the same time the Moscow secret police urged their agents to 
e.xert themselves to discover these particulars and " wire immedi- 
ately to the department and to the chief of the Finnish gendar- 
merie so that the latter can arrange for the suppression of the 

Assuming that the conference would be held in Mustamyaki, 
Finland, the task of raiding it and arresting the participants was 
entrusted to the Finnish gendarmerie. T\\q director of the police 
department advised Colonel Yeryomin, chief of the Finnish 
forces, that "it is most desirable to discover at this conference 
members of the Social- Democratic fraction of the State Duma 
and that the correspondence on the liquidation of the conference 
be conducted in pursuance of the regulations relating to districts 
uj^der martial law." 

The police department sent a circular telegram in code to the 
secret police departments of thirty-three cities instructing them to 
watch closely delegates from local organisations : " Take all 



necessary steps to find out the delegates, watch them and wire 
news of their departure to Colonel Yeryomin at Helsingfors and 
also to the department." 

Railway stations at St. Petersburg were flooded with spies and a 
special detachment of the secret police was sent to Finland to 
reinforce Colonel Yeryomin's men. In Byeloostrov on the Finnish 
frontier, spies were posted who knew all the members of the 
fraction by sight. And, needless to say, the crowd of spies who 
dogged our footsteps in St. Petersburg increased and became more 
brazen than ever. 

The Moscow agent-provocateur Romanov, informed the police 
about the conference itself and the date of its convocation, but it 
was undoubtedly the St. Petersburg agent-provocateur Shur- 
kanov who revealed the place where it was to be held. Shurkanov, 
who was at that time working for the St. Petersburg Committee, 
was present at the preliminary meeting when the place was 
decided on and he hastened to inform his masters. Consequently 
the police obtained all the information they desired. 

The documents of the secret police show that the arrest of our 
fraction was not a casual affair such as might happen at any time 
under a widespread system of spying. The government had 
decided that the Bolshevik fraction should be destroyed and 
all that remained was to choose the opportune moment and work 
out a strategical plan of attack. This was made possible through 
the work of the agents-provocateurs. 

At about 5 p.m. on November 4, the third day of the con- 
ference, a deafening knock was heard on the door of the Gavrilovs' 
house. In a few seconds the door had been forced and our room 
was invaded by a crowd of police and gendarmes. The police 
officer in charge drew his revolver and shouted : " Hands up." 

In reply to our protests, the officer declared that he had orders 
to effect a search and presented a document which, on the basis 
of Clause 23 of the State of Martial Law, authorised him to 
search the apartment and arrest all persons found in it. 

First all the persons present who were not deputies, including 
Mrs. Gavrilov, were searched. But when the police attempted to 
search members of the Duma fraction, we protested vigorously and 
declared to the officer in charge : 

" We shall not allow you to search or arrest us. As members of 
the Duma we enjoy parliamentary immunity according to Articles 
15 and 16 of the State Duma Regulations. No one has the 
right to search or detain us without an authorisation from the 
Duma. The police are acting illegally and will be liable for com- 
mitting this act." 

THE WAR 215 

Our protest was so determined that it had its effect ; the officer 
hesitated and went to telephone for further instructions. While 
some of us argued with the police, others managed to destroy many 
of tlie documents in our possession, f'irst we destroyed all material 
concerning the conference, including the minutes, so that the 
police did not obtain a single document which established the 
nature of the gathering at Gavrilov's house. We also managed to 
get rid of a number of papers containing Party addresses 
and instructions, but we did not have time to destroy all our 

The police officer returned with instructions to pay no attention 
to our protests and accompanied by another high official on whose 
order the police pounced on us. Each of us was seized by a few 
policemen and despite our desperate resistance we were all 
searched in turn. The search was conducted very thoroughly and 
ever\'thing was taken away, all literature, note-books and even our 

On Petrovsky they found a copy of the reply to Vandervelde, a 
copy of the theses on war, the number of the Sotsial-Demokrat 
containing the manifesto of the Central Committee and several 
pamphlets published abroad, including the constitution and 
programme of the Party. 

From me the police took a similar collection of literature and a 
copy of the draft proclamation to the students and a passport in 
another name, one of the passports used in our illegal work. From 
Samoylov they obtained a copy of the paper, pamphlets and a 
note-book containing notes on which his report was based. No 
documents were found on Shagov. 

The most compromising find of the police was Muranov's note- 
book, which they discovered the following day in the lavatory, where 
Muranov had attempted to destroy it. In it, Muranov described 
with painstaking accuracy all his activity in the Urals, information 
concerning local organisations, pseudonyms of Party members, 
results of meetings, certain addresses, etc. Muranov's book left 
no doubts as to the nature of the illegal work on which he was 

After the search, all the members of the conference except the 
deputies were taken off to prison. The officer again telephoned to 
his superiors as to what he should do with the Duma members, 
and then he told us that we were free. On our release he returned 
<jur deputy-cards and all our possessions except the documents. 

Twelve hours had passed since the appearance of the police and 
it was dawn when we left the house, 'i'he entire surrounding 
district, which was usually deserted, was Hooded with police of all 


descriptions. Spies accompanied us to the nearest tramcar stop 
and several boarded the same tram. 

The way in which the search was conducted and the subsequent 
behaviour of the poHce convinced us that the government would 
no longer respect the parliamentary immunity of the workers' 
deputies and that we could expect another police raid at any 
moment. Therefore we took steps to make the news of the night's 
events widely known in working-class districts and then pro- 
ceeded to " clean up " and " put in order " our apartments. 

Secret Party documents were kept in our apartments, which 
hitherto had been regarded as comparatively the safest place. 
There we had copies of Party instructions and addresses to w^hich 
literature was to be sent, also correspondence, reports and lists of 
names, etc. We had established contacts in almost every city and 
if the documents fell into the hands of the police, thousands of 
Party members might be imprisoned or exiled and the entire 
Party organisation destroyed. 

All these papers were hastily collected and burnt, so that there 
was only a handful of ashes waiting for the police to discover. 
We also had some account books and registers ; I tore a number of 
pages out and destroyed the most compromising entries. 

On November 5, the fraction met in my apartment to discuss 
the new situation. We decided in the first place to spread the 
news as widely as possible among the masses and, secondly, to 
apply to the Duma president for protection against the police 
infringement of our immunity as deputies. Although we realised 
that we could not count on any protection from the Black Hundred 
Duma, we decided to make as much fuss as possible in Duma 
circles in order to draw public attention to our case. After all 
Rodzyanko was bound to do something in the matter. The search 
and detention of deputies by the police was a violation of our 
Duma privileges and, for the sake of dignity, the president had 
to make some sort of protest. 

It must be observed that although the Duma majority savagely- 
attacked the " Left " deputies within the Duma, they were, in 
general, very touchy about any violation of their privileges. 
But, of course, their protests never went so far as a quarrel with 
the government and at the least threat on the part of the latter 
they ceased at once. 

The fraction charged Petrovsky and myself with the task of 
conducting negotiations with Rodzyanko, We told him all the 
facts of our illegal detention and search and demanded that he 
should take steps to have the guilty persons prosecuted. 

We left with him a written protest signed by all five of us. 

THE WAR 217 

He promised to do ever}-thing within his competence, but what 
he actually did and what were the results of his actions will he- 
seen from what follows. 

When we left the Duma, the spies were more numerous and 
more brazen than in the morning ; they appeared at each turning 
and round each corner and surrounded us in a close ring. Never 
before, notwithstanding the very close watch kept on us, was the 
behaviour of the police-agents so impudent. Like wild beasts 
which have tasted blood, they kept circling round us in expectation 
of the moment when they would be allowed to fall on their 
prey. For two years the secret police had been waiting for that 
moment and they v,ere now rejoicing in their victory. This 
feeling of victory showed on the face of each spy, each police 

The police ring round us was becoming tighter and tighter. 
It was soon to engulf us. 

Closely watched by the police in this way, as if afraid that we 
might escape at the last moment, we were of course unable to 
set into touch with workers' organisations or organise a protest 
movement. All we could do was to examine and re-examine our 
documents and papers, so as to prevent anything incriminating 
falling into the hands of the police. 

I was in bed and had just fallen asleep after several days of worry 
and anxiety when, about midnight, the bell rang and the police 
appeared at my door. " Mr. Badayev," said a police officer at my 
bedside, " I have a warrant for your arrest." 

The long-expected moment had arrived. I dressed, packed a 
few necessities and said good-bye to my family. The whole house 
was full of police. I went down and out along the dark streets with 
the police, who took me to the detention prison in Shpalernaya 
Street. I was carefully searched and placed in solitary confinement. 
There I learned that all the other members of the fraction had also 
been arrested during the same night, November 5-6. 

At last the tsarist government had laid our Bolshevik fraction 
by the heels. The question of parliamentary immunity of Bol- 
shevik deputies, like every other attack on the wf)rking class, had 
been decided by the relation of forces, which at that moment 
cemed to be in favour of the government. 

Maklakov, the Minister of the Interior, one of the most reac- 
tionary defenders of tsarist autocracy, hastened to report to 
N'icholas the Second the results of the police exploits at Ozyorky. 
The " most humble " reptjrt, dated Ncwembcr 5, was writtm 
before our arrest and apparently for the purpose of obtaining the 
necessary authority. In this report, Maklakov wrote : 


The Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party exists in the Russian 
Empire for the purpose of overthrowing the existing regime and of 
establishing a republic. Since the commencement of the war, it has 
conducted propaganda for its speedy termination, setting forth as 
reasons for this course, the danger of the consolidation of the auto- 
cratic regime in case of victory and the consequent postponement of 
the realisation of the tasks of the Party. 

Members of the Fourth State Duma who belong to the Social- 
Democratic Fraction take an active part in the propagation of these 
ideas and the fraction directs and guides the criminal activity of the 
party. The most glaring example of the subversive influence of these 
Social-Democratic deputies was the huge strike movement and 
street disorders for which they were responsible last year. Unfor- 
tunately it has been impossible to produce proof of their work so as 
to bring them to trial. 

At last, however, the detective service which incessantly watches 
revolutionary groups, obtained information that the Social-Demo- 
cratic deputies proposed to call a conference with the participation 
of prominent Social-Democrats in order to work out a programme of 
anti-war activity and the overthrow of the monarchic regime in 

On November 4, in a private apartment twelve versts from, the 
capital, in the St. Petersburg District, detectives surprised a meeting 
attended by the following members of the Social-Democratic 
Fraction in the Fourth State Duma, Petrovsky, Badayev, Muranov, 
Shagov, Samoylov, and by six representatives of the Party from 
various parts of the empire. When the police questioned them as to 
the object of the meeting, they replied that it was in celebration of the 
eighth anniversary of their hosts' marriage. But this explanation was 
proved to be false by the husband of the hostess who arrived some 
time later. 

The search effected among the participants revealed the following 
material : several copies of a foreign revolutionary paper, Sotsial- 
Demokrat, the agenda of the meeting dealing with war questions, 
thirty-two revolutionary pamphlets, party notes and correspondence ; 
and moreover, Badayev, a member of the State Duma, had in his 
possession the manuscript of a criminal appeal to the students calling 
on them to take part in the revolutionary movement, and a passport 
in another name. 

All particulars were at once communicated to the judicial authori- 
ties, who have instituted a preliminary investigation for the prosecu- 
tion of all the participants in this criminal meeting, including also 
the members of the State Duma. 

I consider it my humble duty to submit this report to your 
imperial .majesty. 

Minister of the Interior, Maklakov. 

It must be admitted that with the aid of his very efficient secret 
police, Maklakov described fairly accurately the activity of the 

THE WAR 219 

Bolshevik fraction. He reports with annoyance that for a long 
time the fraction preser\-ed strict secrecy and furnished no facts 
on which the poHce could act, and then he tells with glee how at 
last the deputies were caught. 

With the blessing of tsar Nicholas, the government proceeded 
to stage the trial which was to pass at least " hard labour " sen- 
tences. The chauvinist delirium which had swept the country and 
continued to grow during the first months of the war made the 
preparation of public opinion more easy. The first public 
announcement in the Pravitehtvenny Viestuik {Government 
Alessenger) was worded so as to create the impression that a 
tremendous plot against " the military strength of Russia " had 
been discovered. The announcement read as follows : 

From the commencement of the war the Russian people, conscious 
of the necessity of maintaining the integrity of the fatherland, 
has enthusiastically supported the government in its wartime activities. 
Members of the Social-Democratic associations, however, took up a 
totally different attitude and devoted their efforts to shaking the 
military strength of Russia by underground activity and propaganda. 
In October, the government learned that a secret conference was to 
be held of representatives of Social-Democratic organisations in 
order to discuss measures directed against the present regime and 
for the realisation of their seditious socialist tasks. 

This was followed by particulars of the search at Ozyorky • 
*' Since there was no doubt about the seditious purpose of the 
meeting, the persons caught there were detained, but the members 
of the State Duma released." 

In spite of the fact that our " five " were already imprisoned in 
solitary confinement, the Government Messenger cautiouslv 
informed its readers that the investigating magistrates had decided 
that all participants in the conference were to be " detained." 

This guarded announcement was a sort of feeler to test what the 
public reaction would be. The tune was given. 

The reactionary press received its instructions and immediately 
launched a furious attack on our fraction. The language of the 
Russkoye Znamya was typical : " We should not stand on cere- 
mony with our enemies ; the gallows is the only instrument for 
restoring peace within the country." This appeal was backed up 
by the rest of the bloodthirsty reactionary press ; the liberal 
papers were at best discreetly silent, and as to the workers' press, 
it wiis non-existent at that time. 

After the ground had been well prepared, the government 
annf>unccd the arrest of the fraction on November 15. The 
second government annr)uncement read as follows : 


During the preliminary investigation concerning the conference 
held near Petrograd attended by some members of the Duma and 
persons from various parts of Russia, it was found that the conference 
was engaged in discussing a resolution which stated that " the least 
evil is the defeat of the tsarist autocracy and its army " and in which 
the slogan was advanced " to carry on as widely as possible among the 
troops propaganda for a socialist revolution " and " the organisation 
of illegal cells in the army." All the persons concerned have been 

What effect did this produce on the Duma itself ? As I have 
mentioned, Rodzyanko, after receiving our declaration, promised 
to " do all he could." A mimber of deputies belonging to other 
fractions admitted the necessity of making some protest, but their 
protests were wholly insincere. As a matter of fact, the Duma 
majority was entirely in agreement with the government. In so 
far as they decided to make a protest, they were guided by the 
fear that the workers would retaliate to this new governmental 
provocation by another revolutionary outburst. 

Since the Duma was not sitting at the moment, the protest 
could not take the usual form of an interpellation to the govern- 
ment. Therefore, on the initiative of Chkheidze, who was joined 
by Kerensky of the Trudoviks, Efremov of the Progressives and 
Milyukov of the Cadets, the question was raised at a regular sitting 
of the Duma Committee for the assistance of the sick and wounded, 
which met daily in the president's room. 

It was on the morning of November 6, when the Duma was 
not yet aware of the arrest of the fraction, and therefore the 
Committee only discussed the question of our search and detention 
in Ozyorky. The deputies who attended the Committee revealed 
an undisguised fear of a revolutionary outburst in the country. 
The attitude of the Octobrists was characteristic. Godnyev, 
Opochinin and Lutz advocated the necessity of protesting against 
the action of the police and declared that the attack on the workers' 
fraction would cause disturbances among the masses and produce 
disorganisation in the rear of the army. They condemned the 
provocative action of the government for these purely patriotic 

The result of the discussion was that Rodzyanko sent a letter of 
protest to Goremykin, the president of the Council of Ministers. 
The wording of the letter w^as typical of the falsity of the position 
of the Duma majority. Although he sent the letter on November 
30, almost a month after we ha4 been arrested, Rodzyanko 
did not say a word about our arrest but confined himself to for- 
warding our declaration concerning the incidents at Ozyorky. 

THE WAR 221 

In the covering letter addressed to Goremykin, Rodzyanko 
referred to the violation of Article 15 of the Duma constitution 
and then added : " such action by the authorities cannot be 
tolerated, the more so since this disregard for the law and the 
reckless, irresponsible behaviour on the part of the administrative 
authorities is sowing discontent among the peaceful population 
and exciting it during the difficult period which we are now passing 
through, when it is already agitated by the hard conditions of the 
world war." But what were Rodzyanko's conclusions ? Did he 
demand that the persecution of our fraction should cease ? Not in 
the least. He wound up his letter with the following words : 
" I allow myself to hope that your excellency will take the neces- 
sary steps in the future to protect members of the State Duma 
from illegal police activities." Thus the whole protest was just a 
formal declaration and a request that the offence would not be 
repeated, without a word about any protection for our Bolshevik 

This meaningless and unavailing letter addressed to Goremykin 
was the only action of the Duma majority in connection with the 
arrest of the workers' deputies. The attempt made by the Men- 
sheviks and the Trudoviks to call a special conference of Duma 
members was resisted by Rodzyanko, who declared that no 
meetings of deputies during a recess were allowed by law and that, 
in his opinion, there was no necessity for one. 

When the Duma met again in January' 191 5. after a lengthy 
interval, the majority would not allow an interpellation to be made 
concerning our arrest. As the Cadets refused it was impossible to 
collect the required number of signatures. When Chkheidze and 
Kerensky devoted large parts of their speeches in the budget 

' This letter was sent to Maklakov, Minister of the Interior, for his con- 
sideration. On the letter, which was preserved among the papers at the Police 
Department, arc .Maklakov 's remarks which reveal the character of this tsar's 
first policeman. Rodzyanko's letter made Maklakov furious ; after a note 
" File," he wrote : " I cannot accept the suggestion that the action of the 
police in establishing that five members of the State Uuma are criminals is 
* reckless ' or ' irresponsible.' This may prove disagreeable to the President 
of the Duma, but such are the facts. It is not such action that should be described 
as ' intolerable,' but the fact that grave crimes against the state could be per- 
petrated with impunity under the cover of ' parliamentary immunity.' The 
integrity of the Russian state is more important than any parliamentary 
immunity and the police will always check Duma members who attempt 
to break the law. It is not the administrative authorities fighting revolution 
who are sowing discontent among the people, but those who, in connec- 
tion with such dastardly behaviour, find nothing better to do than to shout 
about the recklessness of the authorities. It is time that these habits were dis- 
carded. The false pathoN of intlignation is too cynical and out of place in this 
connection. I thank again those members of the police force who found out and 
arrested the Duma members." 


debate to the fate of the Bolshevik fraction, the Duma president 
would not allow the press to reprint them. 

Quite naturally, the Black Hundred Duma fully endorsed the 
action of the Romanov government. The arrest of our fraction 
completed the rout of all revolutionary organisations and entirely 
corresponded to the desires of the interests represented in the 
State Duma. While the government distributed rewards to 
the police and secret service men, the heroes of the home fronts 
the flower of Russian liberalism, cringed at the feet of the tsarist 

But what took place in the opposing ranks ? In the factories^ 
works and mines ? The news of the arrest of the Bolshevik 
deputies could not fail to arouse the masses. We have seen that 
even the Octobrists, those miserable props of the government, 
grasped the fact that the destruction of the Bolshevik fraction was 
bound to produce a powerful impression on the Russian prole- 
tariat. They were not mistaken ; the demand for the release of 
the Bolshevik deputies was advanced along with the basic demands 
of the revolutionary movement right up to the February Revolu- 
tion. But at the time of the arrest the working class had not 
enough strength to undertake any far-reaching movement ; the 
war terror was clutching the country by the throat and all revolu- 
tionary activity entailed either death by court-martial or long 
periods of penal servitude. The arrest of the fraction meant that 
the chief Party centre in Russia was destroyed. All the threads of 
Party w^ork had been centred in the Duma '' five " and became 
now disconnected. 

The secret police, while it prepared for the arrest of the deputies, 
took various precautionary measures against any action among the 
workers in defence of the fraction. The spy service was redoubled 
in working-class districts and many party members were arrested. 
Yet in spite of everything, the St. Petersburg Committee managed 
to issue a proclamation concerning the arrest. The proclamation, 
hectographed and distributed on November ii, called on the 
workers to strike and arrange meetings of protest : 

Comrades ! On the night of November 5, the mean tsarist 
government, already red with the blood of fighters for democracy, 
the government of hangmen, which has tortured the exiled workers' 
representatives of the Second Duma and imprisoned thousands of 
the best sons of the proletariat, threw into jail the members of the 
Russian Social-Democratic Workers' Fraction. 

The autocratic government has treated the Duma representatives 
of 30 million workers with shameless cynicism. The falsity and 
hypocrisy of the talk about the unity of the tsar and his people is now 

THE WAR 223 

exposed. An end has been put to the deceit and corruption of the 
masses. . . . The tsarist government has gone to the extreme. . . . 
The working class and all the forces of democracy are now con- 
fronted with the need for taking up the struggle for genuine rep- 
resentation of the people, for the convocation of a constituent 
assembly. , 

Thfc war and the state of martial law has enabled the government 
to carry out their attack on the workers' deputies, who were so 
valiantly defending the interests of the proletariat. 

To the sound of guns and riHes, the government is attempting to 
drown the revolutionary movement in rivers of blood, and in driving 
the workers and peasants to slaughter it hopes to kill their hopes 
of liberty. 

Proclaiming phrases about the liberation of all Slavs, the tsarist 
government is smashing all working-class organisations, destroying 
the workers' press and imprisoning the best proletarian fighters. 

But this is not enough for the enemy of the working class. It was 
decided to launch an attack against the workers' deputies because 
they were heroically fighting against the government policy of 
oppression, violence and iron fetters. The tsarist bandits told the 
chosen representatives of the working class : " Your place is in 

The whole of the working class has been put in prison. A gang 
of robbers and exploiters, a gang of pogrom-makers has dared 
to condemn the entire working class of Russia. A challenge of 
life and death has been flung at the working class. But even the 
ifon repression of martial law will not prevent the workers from 
uttering their protests. The cry " Down with the hangmen and 
murderers " will be shouted by millions of Russian workers, prepared 
to defend their deputies. 

Comrades ! The St. Petersburg Committee of the Russian Social- 
Democratic Labour Party calls on the St. Petersburg workers to 
arrange meetings and one-day strikes in protest against the acts of 
this tsarist-landlord gang. 

Down with tsarism ! 

Long live the democratic republic ! 

Long live the Russian Social- Democratic Labour Party ! 

Long live Socialism ! 

November 11, The St. Petersburg Committee of the Russian 
Social-Democratic Labour Party. 

At the same time, the St. Petersburg Social-Democratic 
students' organisation issued the following proclamation : 

Russian absolutism remains true to itself and continues its W(jrk 
against the nation. Its last deed, the arrest of the Social-Democratic 
Duma Fraction, is equivalent to a com/' d'etat. The comedy of the 
people's representation is at an end. The autocrats have acted and 
the actual naked facts now loom before democracy in all their 
ugly cynicism. 


In issuing its proclamation, the St. Petersburg Committee did 
not count on the possibiHty of any extensive action by the workers. 
Its leaflet was intended to inform the workers of this new govern- 
mental crime and to explain the events in a way which countered 
the patriotic agitation of the government and bourgeois press. 
Pointing out that the arrest of the fraction was equivalent to the 
imprisonment of the entire Russian working class, our Party 
prepared the masses to take up the challenge of the tsarist govern- 

But the appeal had its immediate effect. At a number of fac- 
tories the workers called one-day protest strikes and at others they 
were only prevented from striking by the intervention of fully 
mobilised police forces. 

Thus at the " New Lessner " works, when the workers gathered 
in the morning to discuss the question of strike action, a strong 
police detachment which had previously been brought into the 
works fell upon the workers and made a number of " demonstra- 
tive " arrests. By the same means strikes were frustrated at other 

At places where strikes did occur, drastic punishment was 
meted out. Those workers considered most dangerous were 
pounced on and sent out of St. Petersburg, whilst for others a new 
punishment was found. Workers who were in the reserve, or 
whose mobilisation had been delayed by agreement with the 
military authorities, were immediately sent to advanced positions 
at the front. Of the 1,500 workers on strike at the Parviainen 
works, ten were exiled and over twenty reservists were sent to the 

In these conditions the strike movement could not grow to any 
size, but even these strikes showed that the working-class move- 
ment had not been altogether stifled and that sooner or later it 
would rise again in all its strength. 

There was a vast field of work for our Party but it was extremely 
difficult for the Party to function. The arrest of the fraction had 
completed the destruction of our organisation. The Central 
Committee, isolated and cut off from Russia, was confronted with 
the task of creating anew the whole Party organisation. Lenin, 
greatly alarmed, wrote to Shlyapnikov in Stockholm : " If this is 
true, it is a great misfortune," and requested him to find out if the 
first reports of the arrest of the fraction were correct. 

Three days later, when the news was confirmed, Lenin wrote 
to Shlyapnikov : " It is terrible. Apparently the government 
decided to wreak its vengeance on the Russian Social-Democratic 
Workers' Fraction and stuck at nothing. We must expect the 

THE WAR 225 

worst ; forged documents, manufactured proofs, false evidence, 
secret trials, etc." Further on Lenin pointed out the enormous 
difficulties in connection with Party work, which had increased a 
hundredfold : "Yet we shall continue. Pravda has educated 
thousands of class-conscious workers, from whom, in spite of all- 
difficulties, a new group of leaders, a new Russian Central Com- 
mittee, will arise. ..." 

As always the words of Lenin were inspired by an enormous 
faith in the strength of the working class and in the victory of the 
revolution. He clearly envisaged the difficulties hampering the 
Party's work, but this did not for an instant shake that exceptional 
force and energy which never abandoned him in the hardest 
and most difficult periods of the revolutionary struggle. 

Chapter XXV 


In Prison — Question of a Court Martial — Preparations for a Workers' 
Demonstration — The Trial — The Declaration of the Members of the 
Fraction — Speech of the Public Prosecutor — Spdfeches for the Defence 

— The Sentence 

We were placed in solitary confinement under a strict prison 
regime and isolated from the outside world. Occasionally we heard 
scraps of news, official reports about the victories of the Russian 
armies and about the patriotism throughout the country. 

A new agitator appeared in the St. Petersburg factories. Trying 
to realise his " union with the people," Nicholas himself was 
touring the works, surrounded by a brilliant suite and carefully 
guarded by crowds of uniformed and plain-clothes police. He 
visited the Putilov and other establishments and the whole pro- 
cedure was stage-managed with due observance of all the rules of 
patriotic demonstrations. Shouts of hurrah, the singing of national 
anthems, the presentation of ikons, all went off like a play. 

But we were not, and could not be, informed What was really 
happening among the workers, how revolutionary propaganda \yas 
being conducted among them and what their genuine feelings were. 

We were questioned for the first time two or three days after 
our arrest, and when we came together we had the opportunity of 
exchanging a few words. However, we were quickly separated 
and examined individually. 

During the search at Ozyorky we agreed to do all we could to 
prevent the police being able to prove that we were holding a 
Party conference. We managed to destroy all important docu- 
ments, minutes, agenda, etc., and we decided to say that we were 
on a friendly visit as guests of Mrs. Gavrilov. When questioned 
by the examining magistrate we followed this course and all 
pleaded not guilty. We pointed out that we had come to Mrs. 
Gavrilov as guests and took the occasion to discuss a number of 
questions about working-class organisations, insurance matters, 
the publication of a newspaper, etc., and that it was natural that 
we should take advantage of the opportunity to meet a few rep- 
resentatives of the workers since a visit to our fraction at once 
rendered a person suspect in the eyes of the police. The fact that 

226 - 

THE WAR 227 

some Party literature was found in our possession we explained 
by pointing out that iis deputies we had to keep ourselves informed 
of the various political tendencies. When questioned about our 
attitude to the war we referred the magistrate to the declaration 
read by both Social-Democratic fractions at the Duma session of 
July 26. 

Shagov stated that he had made Mrs. Gavrilov's acquaintance 
when she came to the fraction on business and that later when she 
met him in the street she had invited him and the other deputies 
to call and see her. There was no conference at her apartment and 
no resolutions had been drafted there and the whole conversation 
had turned round insurance clubs and the publication of a news- 

I declared that I was there at the personal invitation of Mrs. 
Gavrilov. The nature of that invitation was immaterial to the case. 
We had had a simple conversation, as among friends, on the events 
of the day. No conference was held and no resolutions were 

Attempting to pick up some revelation, the magistrate persis- 
tently questioned me about my connections with Antipov and 
Kozlov, the St. Petersburg delegates at the conference. They 
were both members of the St. Petersburg Committee and Antipov 
belonged to the Executive of the St. Petersburg Committee. I 
explained my' acquaintance with Antipov by saying that when he 
was unemployed he called on me and asked me to help him find 
work. He came with the same object to see me at Gavrilov's. 

1 said that Kozlov was invited in ordeV to talk about the publica- 
tion of a journal dealing with social insurance, and that I had met 
Kamenev at the office of Pravda, to which he contributed. The 
most difficult thing for me to explain away was how I came to 
be in possession of a passport in another name. I said that work- 
men often brought me their passports with a request that I should 
try to get them passes for the public gallery in the State Duma. 
And then sometimes these documents remained for a long time 
in my possession imtil their owners called for them. That was 
what had happened with the passport found on me. This explana- 
tion did not satisfy the magistrate, but he was unable to obtain 
anything further from me. 

Petrovsky answered in a similar way. He had called as a guest 
for no particular reascm and he refused to say who had given him 
the invitation. He did not know anybody in the (iavrilovs' house 
except the deputies and Kamenev. All the documents which were 
taken away from him had been received through the post or through 
messengers from unknown persons. The corrections in the theses 


on war were made in his handwriting, but had been proposed by 
another person whom he did not wish to name and he had 
intended to make use of these alterations in his Duma work. 
Petrovsky added that it was impossible to judge his attitude to the 
war solely from documents which were found on him. 

Samoylov stated that the people at Gavrilov's house had met 
there accidentally and some had come to talk with their deputies. 
The list of questions found on him had served to aid his memory, 
as he wished to ask for information of what had happened while 
be had been abroad undergoing medical treatment. 

Kamenev's explanation was that he had come to the house in 
order to carry on negotiations with regard to the resumption of 
publication of a workers' newspaper to which he had formerly 
contributed. He had chosen to meet in the house of a third person 
because he was afraid to visit Petrovsky's apartment. The con- 
versation had been confined to events of the day and there had 
been no conference or resolutions. In conclusion, Kamenev said 
that the contents of the documents found did not coincide with 
his views on the war. 

The other comrades arrested with us, Antipov, Kozlov, Voronin, 
Yakovlev, Linde and Mrs. Gavrilov made approximately the same 
depositions. Each explained in his own way his reason for being 
in St. Petersburg and said that they had just chanced to meet in 
the house because they had come to see their deputies. 

Muranov was in a more difficult position. In his note-book there 
were many remarks in his own handwriting on the illegal work of 
the Party. Muranov was unable to disown this book and therefore 
he resorted to complete silence and refused to give any evidence 

We were all questioned separately and after the first occasion 
we were sent for individually by the magistrate. We had no 
opportunity of communicating with each other in the prison or of 
learning what the others had said. Only after the preliminary 
investigation had been completed, when we were allowed to 
inspect the material on which the charge was based, did we learn 
what answers had been made. 

The preliminary examination proceeded rapidly, as the govern- 
ment was in a hurry to conclude the trial while the situation was 
favourable. Our arrest and trial had been planned beforehand so 
that there was no necessity for any thorough-going investigation. 
The magistrates and the prosecutor had merely to frame an 
accusation on the basis of the documents seized to enable the 
sentence decided on in advance to be pronounced. 

By the end of December, after six weeks' imprisonment, the 

THE WAR 229 

preliminaiy investigation was completed and we were again called 
before the investigating magistrate to acquaint ourselves with the 
results of the investigation. After a long interval we again met 
each other and were able to come to an agreement as to our beha- 
viour at the trial. The results of the preliminary investigation were 
set out at length and comprised the documents taken from us, our 
depositions, information lodged by the police, various proclama-' 
tions issued in St. Petersburg during the war and various other 
documents intended to prove that the fraction was guilty of 
revolutionary work. The reading of all this took several days. 

Ever^'thing pointed to the possibility of our being tried by court 
martial and a similar conviction prevailed among our friends out- 
side. They were anxious and were endeavouring with the aid of 
lawyers to divert pur case to the ordinary court. 

Ozyorky, where the raid had taken place, was situated in a 
district where martial law had been declared. It was under a 
martial law regulation that the raid on the Gavrilovs' house was 
carried out. Therefore, on formal grounds, we were liable to be 
tried by court martial. And this admirably suited the government, 
which wished to deal once and for all with the fraction on the 
charge of high treason. 

Therefore the decision to turn the case over to an ordinary 
court came to us as a complete surprise. According to the law the 
accused had the right to inspect all the material on which the 
charge was based. We made use of this right in order to meet each 
other and work out a common line of defence. When we started 
to read the material for the second time, we found at the com- 
mencement a ukase in which Nicholas the Second " ordered " that 
the case be taken out of the hands of the court martial and handed 
over to an ordinary court. The case was now taken by a special 
session of the Petrograd High Court. 

How can this sudden change in the government plans be ex- 
plained ? Undoubtedly it reflected the change which was occurring 
in the country. A long list of military defeats and the increasing 
rumours of the catastrophic state of the army had began to dispel 
the chauvinist fog, while there was every sign that the working- 
class movement, although still weak, was recovering. Economic 
strikes became frequent and in January 191 5, political strikes 
occurred in some districts. The government could no longer 
count on the news of the punishment of the workers' deputies 
being received with patriotic shouts of joy. 

These considerations led Nicholas the Second to sign his 
" gracious " ukase and the govcrimicnt to refrain from its originaJ 
intention of having the workers' deputies shot. 


In a proclamatior?* published just before the trial, the St. 
Petersburg Committee explained to the workers the meaning of 
the government's retreat : 

The workers' deputies are about to be tried. Originally the 
government proposed to accuse them of high treason and published 
this calumny in its newspapers. But they failed. They wanted to 
► try them by court martial, but the supreme rulers and directors of 
the present wholesale murder, after calling the ministers fools, told 
them that to court-martial the representatives of the workers would 
mean sowing disaffection everywhere with theiTr own hands. 

'By the time of the trial the atmosphere of " high treason," 
"plot," etc., carefully spread by the government, had to a large 
extent evaporated. The newspaper reports dealing with the trial 
could not hide the fact that it would be a trial of the workers' 
deputies in the Duma for their political activities. In order to 
revive the original impression, the government unleashed its 
faithful watchdog, the Black Hundred press, which with loud 
barks tried to simulate public indignation. All the Black Hundred 
papers demanded the extreme penalty for the " criminals " ; of 
the whole pack, none were more fierce and merciless than Svyet 

Svyet accused the fraction of not following in the footsteps of 
West European socialists and, of course, it did not fail to refer to 
" German gold," which subsequently became one of the most 
common accusations against the Bolsheviks. After pouring out as 
much abuse as it could, Svyet wrote : 

These unworthy bearers of a high title — probably under the in- 
fluence of German agents who are not sparing of their gold — played 
into the hands of Germany so obviously that there can be no question 
of any innocent error on their part while acting in conformity with 
the pernicious teaching of Socialism. Socialists exist in other 
countries too, but everywhere, in England, France and Belgium, the 
moment war was declared, they renounced their internal struggles 
and joined the national ranks against the formidable enemy, German 

Even German Socialists renounced their Utopias for the duration 
of the war and are behaving like their bourgeois friends. It is only 
to Russian workers that the honourable Duma Socialists give their 
advice to act on theories of non-resistance to evil, peace at any price, 
etc., and it is only Russian Socialists who attempt to stir up internal 
disorders in war time. 

The newspaper demanded the " severest possible sentence on 
ihe chiefs of the discovered plot, who had the effrontery to hide 
behind parliamentary immunity in order to perform their 
treachery." . , 

THE WAR 231 

For two years the government and the Black Hundreds had 
been forced to tolerate the activity of the Bolshevik fraction. 
Although they perfectly understood its purpose, they had been 
afraid to act out of fear of a revolutionary outbreak. Now, having 
taken the plunge, they were determined to finish us off. The task 
of the Party was to rouse the working class and to demonstrate 
th^t no sentence, however drastic, could check the working-class 
movement, and that sooner or later the workers would face their 
enemies at the barricades. 

Our Party organisations were feverishly preparing for the trial. 
Despite strict police surveillance and the many gaps in the Party 
ranks, the St. Petersburg Committee issued a number of leaflets 
dealing with the trial, of which the following is a specimen. 

Remember the events of the last two years. Who defended the 
workers' interests in the Duma .'* Who disturbed the ministers most 
with interpellations concerning the lawless actions of the authorities ? 
Who demanded investigations into factory explosions, etc. ? Who 
organised collections for victimised comrades ? Who published 
Pravda and Proletarskaya Pravdu ? Who protested against the 
slaughter and mutilation of millions of people in the war ? To these 
questions there is only one answer — the workers' deputies. And for 
their activity, they are to be sent to hard labour. The defence of 
the workers' deputies is the cause of the workers. The liberals share 
the pleasure of the government ; the Trudoviks and Chkheidze's 
fraction seem to have suddenly become deaf and dumb. ... 

Who then can defend the workers' deputies ? Only those who 
elected and supported them ; only the proletariat can demonstrate that 
for them the trial is a serious matter and that they do not intend to 
allow it to pass off as quietly and as smoothly as the ministers, the 
Hberals and the secret police would wish. 

Prior to the publication of this proclamation, some leaflets were 
issued on the anniversary of January 9 (22), in which the slogan ot 
a protest against the trial of the fraction was advanced : " The 
working class must protest against this outrageous insult to its 
representatives. It must strain all efforts so as to act with its 
ranks closed on that day. ..." 

The secret police prepared for the trial by further arrests of 
militant workers, but the Party committee conducted an intense 
agitation at factories and works. The day before the trial, the St. 
Petersburg Committee issued another proclamation calling for 
strikes and demonstrations : 

Comrades ! It is the working class which is in the dock, represented 
by deputies who were elected by the workers and who have acted in 
complete agreement with the workers. . . . Under the cover of the 


rumble of guns and the rattling of sabres, the government proposes to 

bury alive one more fraction of the working class. 

Comrade workers ! Let us prove that the enemy is mistaken in his 

calculations, let us prove at this critical moment, when our deputies 

are threatened with hard labour, that we are with them. Let us 

proclaim our solidarity with the accused and demonstrate that we are 

ready to fight to defend our chosen representatives. 

Comrade workers ! Strike on February lo, arrange meetings 

and demonstrations, protest against the tsarist mockery of the 

working class. . . . 

The leaflet of the United Students' Committee, issued on the 
same day, called on the revolutionary students " to support the 
proletariat in its protest by means of meetings, strikes and 

The proclamations of the St. Petersburg Committee were 
circulated among the workers, arousing their revolutionary spirit, 
and caused the secret police a great deal of anxiety. Invested with 
extensive powers under martial law, the police took preventive 
measures to stop any increase of revolutionary feeling among the 
workers. On the day of the trial strong police forces appeared at 
all the main factories and works and police detachments patrolled 
the streets surrounding the court. 

Strangled by these precautionary measures, the strike movement 
could not assume large proportions, but several strikes occurred 
and the workers made many attempts to march to the court. 
Students held a number of meetings and passed resolutions of 
protest. In this atmosphere of fierce police repression, while the 
workers were seething with suppressed resentment, the trial of the 
Bolshevik Duma fraction opened. 

The silence of the Liberal bourgeoisie betrayed their satisfaction 
at the trial of the workers' deputies. Just before the trial the 
Cadets prohibited any member of their party from acting as 
counsel for the defence and based their decision on their disagree- 
rhent with our views on the war. The Cadets endorsed in advance 
the drastic sentence which the tsarist government had prepared. 

The trial started in the morning of February lo. By an inner 
passage we were brought into the High Court and placed in the 
dock opposite the lawyers. The public sections of the court were 
crowded and we could see here and there the faces of relatives and 
friends. Several deputies were present, including Rodichev, 
Milyukov, Efremov and members of the Trudovik and Men- 
shevik fractions. Several tsarist dignitaries occupied specially 
reserved seats and behind the judges we could see Witte, the cre- 
ator of the State Duma and the author of the law on parlia- 
mentary immunity. Representatives of all shades of the press 

THE WAR 233 

were present, but the government took s.teps to suppress any 
speeches and evidence which might be used for agitational pur- 
poses. The miUtary censorship ruthlessly cut out whole passages 
from the reports of the trial. 

The most prominent judges were appointed to tr}' our case. 
The president of the court was Senator Krasheninnikov, the 
public prosecutor was Nenarokomov ; both had had extensive 
experience in conducting political trials. In short, the court was 
packed in such a way that there was no doubt that it would do the 
will of the tsarist ministers. 

The trial opened with the roll-call of the defendants and 
witnesses. One of the counsel petitioned for the calling of an 
additional witness, N. I. Jordansky,^ in order to elucidate Kame- 
nev's views on the war. The court rejected this petition and 
proceeded with the reading of the indictment. 

The indictment started by enumerating the proclamations 
issued in St. Petersburg and attributing their publication to the 
fraction. It continued : 

In order to intensify their revolutionary work, the State Duma 
members, who belong to the Social-Democratic Workers' Fraction, 
decided to call a party congress in St. Petersburg. This congress, 
known in Social-Democratic circles as the " conference," was to 
discuss further measures of revolutionary struggle against the war. 
Representatives of Party organisations in various parts of Russia were 
invited to attend. 

After mentioning the discovery of the delegates in Gavrilov's 
house, the indictment gave detailed extracts from all the docu- 
ments found on the accused or in the house ; on the basis of the 
data obtained during the preliminary investigation, we were 
charged with : 

Taking part in a criminal association which, subordinated to the 
control of the Central Committee of the Russian Social-Democratic 
Labour Party, aimed at the overthrow, by means of an armed 
insurrection, of the regime established in Russia under fundamental 
laws and its replacement by another on the basis of a democratic 

To this end, the indictment pointed out, the members of the 
fraction entered into communication with and assisted in the 
foundation of " secret organisations," attended meetings and took 
part in the drafting of resolutions of these organisations, guided 
their work, kept in touch with the Central Conunittee of the 
K.S.D.L.P. and organised money collections for party objects. 

' N. I. Jordansky was at thut titnc a " dcfrncist." Subsequently he joined 
the Communist I'arty. 


Also, the fraction members " communicated with each Qther and 
with the members of secret organisations by means of secret 
codes," arranged " secret mass meetings of workers, caUing on 
them to form secret organisations for the purpose of armed 
insurrection," drafted and distributed revolutionary anti-war 
leaflets, etc. The concluding part of the indictment dealt with the 
convocation of the conference at which there was a discussion 
concerning " the resolution deciding the programme for immediate 
action of the members of the association during the military 
operations against Germany and Austria," 

The indictment covered all aspects of Party life and all, except 
Mrs. Gavrilov, were charged under Article 102, pairt i, of the 
Criminal Code, which provided a penalty up to eight years' hard 
labour. Mrs. Gavrilov was charged under Article 163 for aiding 
and abetting and failing to report to the authorities. 

After reading the indictment, the president of the court asked 
us whether we ^pleaded guilty. In accordance with our original 
decision we all replied in the negative, as at the preliminary 

When we were allowed to inspect the documents in the room 
of the investigating magistrate, we had worked out our general 
line of action in the court. We agreed on the substance of a 
declaration which was to be read by Petrovsky as president of the 
fraction. Following him, each of us was to endorse his statement 
and expound it more fully. 

When the examination began, Petrovsky volunteered to give 
his explanations first. He spoke as follows : 

Gentlemen judges, since it is the fraction that is being tried here I 
must refer to it in a few words. We were elected by the workers 
under the banner of Social Democracy. We entered the Duma and 
formed the Russian Social-Democratic Workers' Fraction supporting 
the Bolshevik tendency in the Party. 

Stressing the fact that the entire activity of the fraction was in 
harmony with the sentiments of the workers, Petrovsky pointed to 
the support given by the fraction to the workers' press, to trade 
union and educational organisations, the insurance campaign, etc. 

Petrovsky acknowledged that a conference was held in the 
Gavrilovs' house and stated that the conference was called to 
ascertain the sentiments of the workers, because now that the 
workers' press had been suppressed, the fraction had to be 
informed of the opinions of the workers on political questions in 
order to pursue its work in the Duma. The delegates to the 
conference were not previously informed of the agenda. Kamenev 
had been invited to discuss the question of restarting the paper and 

THE WAR 235 

this question stood first. Then it was proposed to discuss our 
attitude to PoHsh autonomy, our lending assistance to the famihes 
t>f workers called to the colours, etc. Finally we proposed to 
discuss a resolution consisting of seven points dealing with the 
■War, but this was prevented by the intrusion of the police. 
Petrovsky stated that he had received this resolution, which repre- 
sented the opinion of the Central Committee of the Russian Social - 
Democratic Labour Part3% from a certain Social-Democrat who 
proposed that the fraction be guided by it in its activity in the 
Duma. The fraction considered that it was necessary first to 
discuss the resolution with representatives of the workers. He 
concluded his speech as follows : 

We arc being tried for our staunch defence of the rights of the 
people. We are to be condemned because we earned the confidence 
of the working class and because we defended the workers' interests 
to the best of our abilities. Therefore, we regard our trial as the 
greatest injustice. 

Muranov spoke after Petrovsky. He confined himself to a few 
words in which he endorsed everything said by Petrovsky. He 
added that he belonged to the Party only in so far as he was a 
member of the fraction and under the existing lav.'s deputies were 
not liable to prosecution for belonging to a fraction ; surely the 
members of the Social-Democratic fraction could not be tried for 

In my turn, I said : 

" I endorse the words spoken by Petrovsky. On all questions 
concerning our activity, we addressed ourselves to the workers, 
heard their opinions and told them ours. We had to introduce inter- 
pellations and bills into the Duma and for this purpose it was 
necessary to know the opinions of our constituents, 'i'he authorities 
refused to allow us to arrange talks with our constituents, therefore 
we had to find other means of communication. These means were 
meetings and conferences with delegates from the workers and the 
careful examination of material or documents sent to us, such as 
those which were taken from me at the time of the search. The 
fraction did all it could for the workers' paper and the Ozyorkv 
conference was mainly devoted to the question of founding a iru 
paper. For this purpose we considered it essential that we Should 
hrtr the opinions of delegates from various cities." 
The next to speak was Shagov. He stated that he shared the 
,standpf)int embodied in the joint declaration of the two Social- 
Democratic fractions read in the Duma. 

Samoylov, who was the last of the fraction to address the court, 
referred to his illness which had forced him to spend several 
months abroad. When he returned \o St. Petersburg at the 


beginning of November he wished to become acquainted with 
events that had taken place in his absence. He invited Voronin 
to come to see him because Voronin was a well-known figure in 
working-class circles. 

At the trial we followed the same tactics that we had adopted' 
during the preliminary investigation. We tried not to give the 
*court any clues, any direct indications concerning the Party's 
revolutionary work. The court had a number of suspicions, but 
these had to be proved, and it was not our intention to assist the 
court officials in this task. On the contrary, we did all we could to- 
prevent it. 

The other defendants followed the same line in giving their 
evidence, Kamenev emphasised, as he had done during th^r 
preliminary investigation, that he was a professional journalist 
who had worked for the workers' press and was therefore interested 
in its existence. This had brought him to Ozyorky where the 
question of restarting the paper was to be discussed. Accused 
under his real name, Rosenfeld, he admitted that he used the 
pseudonym Kamenev for literary purposes. 

The questioning of the other defendants was mingled with 
the examination of the witnesses. The main witnesses were 
policemen and secret service men who confirmed the circumstances 
of the arrest, the finding of the proclamations and any other facts 
necessary to the court to enable it to pronounce sentence. Special 
attention was paid to Muranov's note-book and Petrovsky's personal 

As I mentioned before, Muranov's notes relating to his journey 
in the Urals clearly disclosed his participation in underground 
revolutionary activity. Therefore, in answer to questions put by 
the president of the court, he was forced to admit that he had been 
engaged in illegal work. He stated that he took part in meetings 
of local committees, arranged mass meetings of workers, etc, and : 

" I called on them to organise. There were trade unions, co-opera- 
tives and educational societies, and I insisted that Social-Democrats 
must do all they could to gain influence in these organisations, I 
regarded it as my duty to set up such organisations." 

The hurried examination was concluded on the second day of 
the trial and the court passed on to the next formality, the counsel's 
speeches, as if these speeches could affect in the slightest the pre- 
arranged sentence. 

The public prosecutor started by praising the leaders of West 
European Socialist parties, who at the commencement of the war 
had betrayed the International and become patriotic defenders of 
their respective fatherlands. Only the Russian Social-Democratic 

THE WAR 237 

Party had not followed the " call to sanity." He said that the 
Social-Democratic fraction in the Duma, in refusing to vote the 
war credits, had announced " an open break with the government 
at the moment when the latter was most in need of the union of 
all sections of the population." 

The public prosecutor argued that the fraction in its activity 
^vas directly under the control of the Central Committee of the 
Social-Democratic Party, and that following the instructions of the 
Central Committee, the fraction began to develop its anti-war 
revolutionary propaganda. He insisted that an important Party 
conference was held in Ozyorky to determine the subsequent 
tactics of the Party in its struggle against the war. 

The public prosecutor concluded : 

" The present case is extremely important both as regards the 
persons and the questions involved. We have to deal with a firmly 
■welded organisation — the Russian Social-Democratic Fraction. 
... At a moment when the state is straining every nerve to fight 
the external foe, when at the frontiers the blood of the Father- 
land's sons is being shed unceasingly, the defendants, for the sake of 
a few paragraphs in their Party programme, stretch out their hands 
in friendship to the enemy behind the backs of our brave defenders. 
These people want to deal our gallant army a stab in the back, to 
bring disorganisation into its ranks.' But now they find them- 
selves in the dock, and when our heroes return from the battlefield 
we want to be able to face them and tell them how we treated those 
who wished to betray them." 

After the public prosecutor, the defending counsel began their 
speeches. They belonged to a definite group of political lawyers 
who had had considerable experience in trials of revolutionaries. 

The counsel first of all made it their aim to reveal the political 
nature of the trial, to show that the trial of the workers' deputies 
was an arbitrary act of the tsarist government and that such trials 
were only possible in a country' where political liberty was 
trampled underfoot by the boots of the police. Demyanov said : 

" This case is of immense historic importance. Do not forget 
that the five members of the State Duma are the chosen represen- 
tatives of the peasants and workers wlio not only trust but love them, 
for they are ficsh of tlieir flesh and bone of their bone. How many 
other members of the Duma can assert that they are the genuine 
representatives of the people ? , . . The defendants need not fear 
condemnation. They will not remain long in exile but will soon 
return in triumph. The army — the people -when they return from 
the war, will ask sternly and insistently, ' where arc our chosen 
representatives ? Where are our elected deputies ? Where are our 
cherished friends ....''" 


" The sentence will not remain a secret buried in this hall," said 
another counsel, Pereverzev, " and it will not only be known in St. 
Petersburg ; the news will spread like wildfire throughout the 
Russian land. It is possible to violate parliamentary immunity, 
but it is impossible to stamp out of the people's memory the injustice 
and deep significance of this action. The deputies are condemned for 
being faithful to their duties, everyone knows that. When the prison 
gates shut behind them, let them remember — and these are not our 
feelings alone — that sorrow and respect accompany them there. ..." 

Sokolov emphasised that the members of our fraction were the 
only real representatives of the working class : 

" Five deputies are in the dock. They were all sent to the State 
Duma by the votes of the working class and have the right to be 
regarded as the representatives of the workers. All of them are 
Social-Democrats ; the working class has sent Social-Democrats to 
represent it in all four State Dumas. The Russian workers invariably' 
choose Social-Democrats to represent them and Social-Democracy 
in Russia does not even enjoy freedom of the press to the extent 
that other political tendencies do. . . ." 

Kuchin, Antipov's counsel, described the social environment in 
Russia " where the people's representatives are unable to meet 
their constituents openly, but in order to do so must steal about 
like thieves to a deserted house and sit there in hiding with the 
windows covered up by blankets," where " agents of the secret 
police have the effrontery to shout insults at the people's represen- 
tatives whom they have arrested ; it is this social environment,"' 
declared the counsel, " that is responsible for the defendants 
being in the dock." 

The other defending counsel described the tremendous social 
importance of the trial in similar terms. Often they only hinted 
at this, but their hints made such an impression that the president 
of the court interrupted them and requested them to speak oh 
topics " more relevant to the issue," 

The second aim of the counsel was to do all they could to 
mitigate the punishment. For this purpose they analysed the 
incriminating material in a sense more favourable to the defendants. 
They devoted their main efforts to refuting the charge of " high 
treason " which had been alleged by the public prosecutor. 
Referring to the Ozyorky conference, they asserted that, in view 
of the few members who attended it, it could in no way be regarded 
as a Party congress, but that it was simply a consultation of the 
deputies with a few workers. Finally the counsel also advanced a 
number of legal points on the basis of which they objected to the 
formulation of the indictment. 

The speeches for the defence closed the proceedings. Now there 

THE WAR 239 

only remained the pronouncement of the sentence. This was the 
fourth day of the trial ; the court-room was more crowded than at 
the commencement and everyone was waiting with tense interest 
for the final act of the drama. 

Nearly a whole day was spent on formalities, the framing of 
questions for the court, amendments by counsel, objections by the 
public prosecutor, etc. The judges finally withdrew to consider 
the judgment at 8 p.m. The crowd in the court-room was 
expectant. Relatives and fViends were anxious for those dear to 
them, and the others were conscious of the enormous historical 
significance of the trial and the sentence. 

A strong police detachment entered the court, filled all the 
passages and watched the entire audience — the government was 
still afraid of demonstrations despite all their precautions. 

Three hours passed. Our counsel, seated in front of us, advised 
us to be prepared for the worst. " The sentence," they said, 
" may be extremely severe. What matters here is not the legal 
proof, but the orders which the court has received from the 
government. We must be prepared for anything." 

Finally the judges filed into the court, and in a tense silence 
Krasheninnikov read out the sentence. 

Petrovsky, Muranov, Shagov, Samoylov and myself together 
with Kamenev, Yakovlev, Linde and Voronin were found guilty 
and sentenced under Article 102, part 2, to the loss of civil rights, 
exile to distant regions and confiscation of property. Mrs. 
Gavrilov and Antipov were found guilty under Article 136, part 2, 
for not informing the authorities and were condemned to imprison- 
ment in a fortress, the former for one year and six months, the 
latter for eight months, the period of preliminary detention to be 
included. Kozlov was acquitted owing to lack of proof. 

'I'he trial ended about midnight. We were led through dark 
corridors which connected the court-room with the prison and 
parted from each other, realising that it might be a long time before 
we met again. Knowing the ways of tsarist officials, we expected 
to be sent to diff^erent places at different times. On the iron prison 
staircase, we embraced and kissed each other and cheerfully wished 
each other good luck and a store of patience during the term of 

On the next day we were introduced to the hard labour regime. 
We became convicts deprived of all pn^erty and civil rights. 
,Needless to say none of us had any " property " and the only 
things that could be confiscated were those which we had with 
us in prison, and this was promptly done. But the essence 
of " loss of rights " did not consist in this. Under tsarist laws, a 


convict was treated as an outlaw, a man who had no right to any 
protection. A convict was a man whom the most brutal of gaolers 
could treat as he liked. 

We were taken to the depot and given the regulation convict's 
outfit. These were the only clothes we had for every occasion 
during our prison life. The convicts' garb was in a filthy condi- 
tion ; in addition to dirt there were traces of pus, mucus and 
dried blood. These clothes had done service for many a generation 
of prison inhabitants and every garment spoke more loudly than 
words of past suffering and at the same time acted as a warning 
for the future. 

As we put on these clothes we felt acutely our new position as 
convicts ; how the thoughts chased through our minds during 
those few moments ! We had long felt that this moment would 
come sooner or later. The working class had sent us to the front 
of an unequal struggle and the government was bound to vanquish 
us as individuals. Our every step had brought us closer to this fate. 
Now it had come as a reward for our work during the preceding 

But along with these thoughts there were others, of the future 
of the working-class movement and the new .trials which it would 
have to face. How would the work of our Party be conducted now ? 
It would be necessary to establish new links in the chain of 
organisation. How would this be achieved, how could the diffi- 
culties be overcome ? 

Along with the prison garb there came the regime of hard 
labour ; rough treatment, harsh tones and shouts from the warders, 
etc. For all this there was no redress ; we were outlaws and 
could not expect protection from any quarter. 

As soon as I became a convict, I began to be prosecuted on a 
number of charges which had accumulated during my activities 
in the Duma. After almost every episode in the revolutionary 
struggle of the St. Petersburg workers, the authorities had laid 
charges against me, hoping sooner or later to land me in jail. 

I was prosecuted several times for articles in Pravda, in connec- 
tion with the case of the Putilov workers, for my speech at the 
funeral of one of the Parviainen workers, for addressing the 
workers at the railway shops, etc. 

I was accused under various articles of the legal code and all 
these counts were now prepared for trial. Under the existing laws, 
however, the lesser punishment was merged into the bigger one. 
The investigating magistrates had the satisfaction of seeing -me in 
convict's garb and feeling that, at any rate, their " work " had not 
been wasted ! 

THE WAR 241 

After several months in the St. Petersburc; prison, we were 
transferred to a prison in distant Siberia. In the convict train, in 
boats, on foot, we were taken to the Turukhansk district, the 
worst district of Siberia both as regards cHmate and general living 
conditions. From the standpoint of exiles, Turukhansk was a 
blind alley, a trap from which there was no escape. It was no 
ehance that practically the whole of the Russian Bureau of our 
Bolshevik Central Committee turned out to be there. ^ 

At last the tsarist government had smashed the Bolshevik Duma 
fraction and completed its task of destroying all working-class 
organisations. Having put fetters on the workers' deputies, tsarism 
proceeded to enchain the whole Russian proletariat. 

But something went wrong in the calculations of the govern- 
ment. The government of Nicholas the Bloody, far from stifling 
the revolutionary movement, could not even force the prisoners 
to desist from their revolutionary work. Even as convicts in 
Siberia we continued to play our part in the revolutionary 

The tsarist government prepared still further punishments for 
the worl»ers' deputies. Comrade Petrovsky, while in exile at 
Yenisseisk, was ordered to be taken to distant Yakutia. A fresh 
prosecution was commenced against me for " organising defeatist 
groups among-the exiles and the local population," a prosecution 
which threatened dire punishment. The government, however, 
did not have time to complete this plan. The February Revolation 

It was with joy that, in our distant Siberian exile, we listened 
to the revolutionary waves thundering ever louder and louder. 
The working class had again entered the arena of struggle. 
Each day its demands sounded louder and more insistent. 
When the workers again reformed their ranks, they did not forget 
our Bolshevik fraction. On the anniversary of our trial protest 
strikes occurred throughout Russia. Every meeting coupled the 
demand for the release of the deputies with the fundamental 
demands of the working class. And this demand was one of the 
slogans of the St. Petersburg workers when they took control of 
the streets in the historic days of February 1917. 

'I 'he I'ehruary Revolution opened wide the prison doors and 
broke the fetters of the prisoners of tsarism. Hundreds and 
thousands of liberated Fevolutionaries returned along the Siberian 
route. In villages, hamlets and at railway stations, crowds of people 

' The follovf ing comrades were exiled in Turukhansk at that time : Comrades 
Sverdlov, Stalin, Sp(*ndaryan, Cjoloschokin and a number of other leading 
Party members. 


welcomed the workers' deputies with revolutionary songs. 
Revolutionary meetings were held all along the route. 

In the last days of March, 1917, we were back again in St. 
Petersburg among the revolutionary workers. After storming the 
strongholds of tsarist autocracy, these workers, under the well-tried 
leadership of the Bolsheviks, had already started their struggle for 
the complete abolition of capitalism. 

The pre-war years, years of an exceptional growth and spread 
of the working-class movement, played a tremendous part in 
preparing for the great fights of October. 

The 1905 Revolution, the pre-war years of revival and growth, 
the February Revolution and finally the October Revolution, are 
the four stages in the Russian workers' revolutionary struggle, 
the four great steps which the working class took to reach the 
final victory of the proletarian revolution. 




By V. I. Lenin 

The tsarist trial of five members of the R.S.-D.W. Fraction and 
six other Social-Democrats seized at a conference near Petrograd 
on November 17, 1914, is over. All of them have been sentenced 
to exile in Siberia. From the accounts of the trial published in the 
legal press the censorship has cut out items unpleasant to tsarism 
and patriots. The " internal enemies " were dealt with decisively 
and quickly, and again nothing is seen or heard on the surface of 
public life apart from the mad howl of a host of bourgeois chau- 
vinists seconded by handfuls of social-chauvinists. 

What, then, has the trial of the Russian Social-Democratic 
Workers Fraction proved ? 

It has proved, first, that this advance detachment of revolu- 
tionar)-^ Social Democracy in Russia did not show sufficient 
firmness at the trial. It was the aim of the defendants to make 
it difficult for the State Attorney to identify the members of the 
Central Committee in Russia and the Party representative who had 
had certain dealings with workers' organisations. This aim has 
been accomplished. In order that we may accomplish similar 
aims in the future, we must resort to a method long recommended 
officially by the Party, namely, refusal to testify. However, to 
attempt to show solidarity with the social-patriot, Mr. Jordansky, 
as did Comrade Rosenfeld (Kamenev. — Ed.), or to point out one's 
disagreement with the Central Committee, is an incorrect method ; 
this is impermissible from the standpoint of revolutionary Social- 

We call attention to the fact that according to the report of the 
Dyen (Day) (No. 40) — there is no official and complete record of 
the trial — Comrade Petrovsky declared : "At the same period 
(in November) I received the resolution of the Central Com- 
mittee, and besides this . . . there were presented to me resolu- 
tions of workers from seven localities concerning the attitude of 
the workers towards the war, resolutions coincidirn; with the 
attitude of the Central Committee." 

Tills declaration does Petrovsky honour. Chauvinism was 
running high everywhere. In Petrovsky's diary there is a plirase 



to the effect that even radically minded Chkheidze spoke with 
enthusiasm of a war for " liberty". This chauvinism was resisted 
by the Deputies, members of the Russian Social-Democratic 
Workers Fraction, when they were free ; it was also their duty to 
draw the line between themselves and chauvinism at the trial. 

The Cadet Ryech {Speech) servilely " thanks " the tsarist court 
for " dispelling the legend " that the Russian Social-Democratic 
Deputies had wished the defeat of the tsarist armies. The Ryech 
takes advantage of the fact that the Social-Democrats in Russia 
are bound, hand and foot. The Cadets make believe that they 
take seriously the so-called " conflict " between the Party and the 
fraction, declaring that the defendants testified freely, not under 
the judicial sword of Damocles. What innocent babes ! As if 
they do not know that in the first stages of the trial the Deputies 
were threatened with court-martial and capital punishment. 

It was the duty of the comrades to refuse to give evidence 
concerning the illegal organisation ; bearing in mind the world- 
historic importance of the moment, they had to take advantage 
of the open trial in order directly to expound the Social-Demo- 
cratic views which are hostile not only to tsarism in general, but 
also to social-chauvinism of all and every shade. 

Let the governmental and bourgeois press wrathfully attack 
the Russian Social-Democratic Workers Fraction ; let Socialist- 
Revolutionaries, Liquidators and social-chauvinists (who must 
fight somehow, if they cannot fight us on the issue of principles !) 
maliciously " pick out " manifestations of weakness or of a so- 
called " disagreement with the Central Committee." The Party 
of the revolutionary proletariat is strong enough openly to 
criticise itself, unequivocally to call a mistake and a weakness by 
their proper names. The class-conscious workers of Russia have 
created a Party and have placed at the front a vanguard 
which, when the World War is raging and international oppor- 
tunism is bankrupt the world over, has proved most capable of 
fulfilling the duty of international revolutionary Social-Democrats. 
Our road has been tested by the greatest of all crises, and has 
proved over and over again the only correct road. We shall 
follow it still more determinedly and more firmly, we shall push 
to the front new advance-guards, we shall make them not only do 
the same work but complete it more correctly. 

Secondly, the trial has unfolded a picture of revolutionary 
Social-Democracy taking advantage of parliamentarism, the like of 
which has not been witnessed in international Socialism. This 
example will, more than all speeches, appeal to the minds and 
hearts of the proletarian masses ; it will, more than any argu- 


ments, reoudiate the legalist-opportunists and anarchist ohrase- 
mongers. The report of Muranov's illegal work and Petrovsky's 
notes will for a long while rinnain an example of our Deputies* 
work which we were compelled diligently to conceal, and the 
meaning of which will give all the class-conscious workers of 
Russia more and more food for thought. At a time when nearly 
all " Socialist " (excuse me for debasing this word !) deputies of 
Europe proved to be chauvinists and servants of chauvinists, when 
the famous " Europeanism " that had charmed our Liberals and 
Liquidators proved a routine habit of slavish legality, there was a 
Workers' Party in Russia whose deputies neither shone with fine 
rhetoric, nor had " access " to the bourgeois intellectual drawing 
rooms, nor possessed the business-like efficiency of a " European " 
la\\'yer and parliamentarian, but excelled in maintaining connec- 
tions with the working masses, in ardent work among those masses, 
in carrying out the small, unpretentious, difficult, thankless and 
unusually dangerous functions of illegal propagandists and 
organisers. To rise higher, to the rank of a deputy influential in 
" society " or to the rank of a Minister, such was m reality the 
meaning of the " European " (read : lackey-like) " Socialist " 
parliamentarism. To go deeper, to help enlighten and unite the 
exploited and the oppressed, this is the slogan advanced by the 
examples of Muranov and Petrovsky. 

And this slogan will have a world-wide historic significance. 
There is not one thinking worker in any country of the world who 
would agree to confine himself to the old legality of bourgeois 
parliamentarism once it has been abolished in all the advanced 
countries by a stroke of the pen (a legality which brought about 
only a more intimate practical alliance between the opportunists 
and the bourgeoisie). Whoever dreams of " unity " between 
revolutionary Social-Democratic w^orkers, and the "European" 
Social-Democratic legalists of yesterday and of to-day has learned 
nothing and forgotten nothing and is in reality an ally of the 
bourgeoisie and an enemy of the proletariat. Whoever has failed 
to grasp at the present day for what reason and for what purpose 
the Social-Democratic Workers Fraction had split away from the 
Social-Democratic PVaction that was making peace with legalism 
and opportunism, let him learn now, from the report of the trial, 
of the activities of Muranov and Petrovsky. This work was 
conducted not only by those two deputies, and only hopelessly 
naive people can dream of a compatiiiiHty between such work and 
a " friendly tolerant relation " witii the Nasha Zarya or the 
Severnaya Rahochaya (lazeta, the Sovrcmennih, the Organisation 
Committee, or tlie Hund. 


Does the government hope to frighten the workers by sending 
into Siberia the members of the Russian Social-Democratic 
Workers Fraction ? It is mistaken. The workers .will not be 
frightened ; on the contrary, they will better understand their 
aims, the aims of a Labour Party as distinct from the Liquidators 
and the social-chauvinists. The workers will learn to elect to the 
Duma men like the members of the Russian Social-Democratic 
Workers Fraction for similar and broader work, and at the same 
time they will learn to conduct still more secret activities among 
the masses. Does the government intend to kill " illegal parlia- 
mentarism " in Russia ? It will only strengthen the connections of 
the proletariat exclusively with that kind of parliamentarism. 

Thirdly, and this is most important, the trial of the Russian 
Social-Democratic Workers Fraction has, for the first time, 
yielded open objective material, spread over Russia in millions of 
copies, concerning the most fundamental, the most significant 
question as to the relation to the war of various classes of Russian 
society. Have we not had enough of that nauseating intellectual 
prattle about the compatibility of " defence of the fatherland '^ 
with internationalism '* in principle " (that is to say, purely 
verbal and hypocritical internationalism) ? Has not the time come 
to face the facts that relate to classes, i.e., to millions of living 
people, and not to dozens of phrase-heroes ? 

More than half a year has passed since the beginning of the war. 
The press, both legal and illegal, has expressed itself. All the 
party groupings of the Duma have defined their positions, these 
being a very insufficient but the only objective indicator of our 
class groupings. The trial of the Russian Social-Democratic 
Workers Fraction, and the press comments, have summed up all 
this material. The trial has shown that the advanced representa- 
tives of the proletariat in Russia are not only hostile to chauvinism 
in general but that, in particular, they share the position of our 
Central Organ. The Deputies were arrested on November 17, 
1 914. Consequently, they conducted their work for more than 
two months. With whom and how did they conduct it ? What 
currents in the working class did they reflect and express ? The 
answer to this is given in the fact that the conference used the 
" theses " of the Sotsial-Demokrat as material, that the Petrograd 
committee of our Party more than once issued leaflets of the same 
nature. There was no other material at the conference. The 
Deputies did not intend to report to the conference about other 
currents in the working class, because there were no other currents. 

But did not the members of the Russian Social-Democratic 
Workers Fraction express only the opinion of a minority of the 


workers ? We have no right to make such a supposition, sinc^, 
for two and a half years, from spring, 191 2, to autumn, 19 14, 
four-fifths of the class-conscious workers of Russia rallied around 
the Pravda with which these Deputies worked in full ideological 
solidarity. This is a fact. Had there been a more or less appre- 
ciable protest among the workers against the position of the 
Central Committee, this protest would not have failed to find 
expression in the proposed resolutions. Nothing of the kind was 
revealed at the trial, although the trial, we are frank to say, did 
" reveal " much of the work of the Russian Social-Democratic 
Workers Fraction. The corrections in Petrovsky's hand do not 
reveal even the slightest shade of any difference of opinion. 

The facts tell us that, in the very first months after the beginning 
of the war, the class-conscious vanguard of the workers of Russia 
rallied, in practice, around the Central Committee and the 
Central Organ. This fact may be unpleasant to one or the other 
of our " fractions," still it cannot be denied. The words quoted 
in the indictment : " It is necessary to direct the armies not 
against our brothers, the wage-slaves of other countries, but 
against the reaction of the bourgeois governments and parties of 
all countries " — these words will spread, thanks to the trial, and 
they have already spread over Russia as an appeal to proletarian 
internationalism, to proletarian revolution. The class slogan of the 
vanguard of the workers of Russia has reached, thanks to the trial, 
the widest masses of the workers. 

An epidemic of chauvinism among the bourgeoisie and one 
section of the petty bourgeoisie, vacillations in another section, 
and a working class appeal of this nature — this is the actual 
objective picture of our political activities. It is to this actual 
picture, and not to the benevolent wishes of intellectuals and 
founders of little groups, that one has to adapt one's " prospects," 
hopes, slogans. 

The " Pravdist " papers and the " Muranov type " of work have 
brought about the unity of four-fifths of the class-conscious 
workers of Russia. About forty thousand workers bought the 
Pravda ; many more read it. Let war, prison, Siberia, hard labour 
break five times more or ten times more — this section of the 
workers cannot be annihilated. It is alive. It is permeated with 
revolutionary spirit, it is anti-chauvinist. It alone stands among 
the masses of the people, and deeply rooted in their midst, as a 
protagonist of the internationalism of the toiling, the exploited, 
the oppressed. It alone has kept its ground in the general debacle. 
It alone leads the semi-proletarian elements aicay from the social- 
chauvinism of the Cadets, Trudoviks, Plckhanovs, the Nasha 


Zarya, and on to Socialism. Its existence, its ideas, its work, its 
appeal to the " brotherhood of wage slaves of other countries " 
have been revealed to the whole of Russia by the trial of the 
Russian Social-Democratic Workers Fraction. 

It is with this section that we must work. It is its unity that 
must be defended against social-chauvinism. It is only along this 
road that the labour movement of Russia can develop towards 
social revolution and not towards national liberalism of the 
" European " type. 

Sotsial-Demokrat, No. 40, March 29, 1915. 

Complete Works, Vol. xviii, page 151. 


This highly interesting and instructive volume represents a translation 
of the first Russian edition of Badayev's reminiscences. In preparing the 
third edition of his book the author provided it with additional material 
and corrected certain inaccuracies. As we are reprinting the book from 
matrices prepared for us by Martin Lawrence, Ltd., London, we are 
unable to make the required changes in the English edition. We therefore 
append these notes based on the author's changes. We take this oppor- 
tunity also to correct a few misprints that crept into the book. 

Page 10, third line from the end. Instead of "no electoral weapon" 
read "no such electoral weapon." 

Pages 12-13. The electoral campaign was conducted under the general 
direction of Lenin from Cracow. He supplied the Pravda with articles 
and letters giving advice and direction on the conduct of the fight. The 
St. Petersburg organization under the leadership of Comrade Stalin 
carried out these directions and developed a fierce fight for the bolshevik 
election platform. 

Page 37. In the third edition of his book the author admits the mis- 
take committed by the Bolshevik members of the Duma fraction in 
joining the Mensheviks in their opposition to the strike. The Party, 
while directing the movement into organised channels, should have led 
all the revolutionary actions of the workers and utilised them for the 
purpose of extending the revolutionary struggle. 

The meeting at the printing office of the PicuJa to which the author 
refers declared the attitude of the Duma fraction in this question to 
hav^ been mistaken. 

Page 41. The Trudoviki, whose programme was akin to that of the 
Socialist-Revolutionaries, pretended to represent the whole of the Russian 
peasantry, but actually they represented only the interests of the well-to-do 
strata of the peasants. It was therefore quite natural «for them to act in 
contact with the parties of the liberal bourgeoisie — the Cadets and Pro- 
gressives. On the other hand, the group expressed the protest of the 
peasantry as a whole against the feudal landlord regime, and this made 
common action with the social-democrats possible from time to time. 

Page 43. In the third edition of his book the author adds a few lines 
stressing the persistence and firmness displayed by Comrade Stalin in 
the struggle against the Mensheviks over the Duma declaration. 



Page 61. Lenin repeatedly pointed out that the question of unity Can 
and must be put only from "below" and that unity in any form is 
possible only with revolutionary workers, but not with those who 
opposed and distorted revolutionary Marxism. 

Page 104. The consent of the workers' deputies to have their names 
included in the list of collaborators of the Ltich "for tactical reasons" 
was given without the knowledge and sanction of the Central Committee 
and Lenin. As soon as the latter learned about this he at once pointed out 
to the Bolshevik members of the fraction that they had committed a 
mistaTce. There could be no unity whatsoever, he explained, even in the 
press, with the Liquidators who were carrying on disruptive treacherous 
work against the Party and its illegal organisations. The decision of the 
Menshevik majority of the fraction to create a united press organ was a 
manoeuvre to deceive the masses of the workers by false demonstrations 
of unity. It was necessary to expose and reject this manoeuvre, in the first 
instance by refusing to participate in the Menshevik paper. 

Page 105, fourth and fifth lines from top. Instead of "and its paper" 
read "and their paper." 

Page 229. In the third edition of his book the author adds a number 
of interesting details throwing light on the struggle which went on 
behind the scenes concerning the course to be adopted in connection 
with the trial of the Duma Bolsheviks. 

"Of course nobody from Nicholas II right down to the last secret 
service agent, had any doubt as to the necessity of completing the 
suppression of the fraction by getting them sentenced to death. , . It 
was only a question of doing this in a way that would be least dangerous 
for the autocracy. The tsarist government knew perfectly well that even 
in prison the Bolshevik deputies would not be entirely isolated from the 
masses. The whole activity of the deputies bore witness to the strong ties 
which connected them with the labour movement and to the strong 
support which their utterances inside and outside of the Duma received 
among the working class. But on the other hand there could be no doubt 
that the masses would not quietly tolerate the deputies being sentenced 
to death. In other words, it was a question of preventing the arrest and 
trial of the deputies from becoming a stepping-stone to an increased out- 
break of the revolutionary movement instead of serving to forcibly crush 
it. . ." The actual rulers of the country at that time were the General 
Headquarters Staff of the Army. Practically the whole country, including 
Petrograd, was under martial law, so the case should have been tried by 
court-martial. The Commander-in-Chief, the Grand Duke Nicholas, 
fearing that the trial of the deputies by court-martial would have a bad 
effect upon the population and the army, decided to intervene, and in- 


sistcd on the case being tried by a civil court. This decision met with 
violent opposition on the part of certain ministers, and for two months 
the question was discussed in correspondence between General Head- 
quarters and Pctrograd. Finally, being unable to agree, the government 
submitted the question to Nicholas II. Evidently he too was impressed 
with the danger that would arise if the deputies were court-martialled 
and sentenced to death, and so he sided with the Grand Duke and 
ultimately the case was tried in a civil court. 

Page 233, seventh line. Instead of "Nenarokomov" read "Nenarokov." 

Pages 235-236. The whole description of the behaviour of the depu^-ics 
after their arrest and of the trial shows no sign of self-criticism. It gives 
a vivid picture, but remains a simple statement of fact and leaves the 
reader in the dark as to whether the behaviour of the accused was all 
that was desired frorn the point of view of a revolutionary party or not. 
This has been remedied by including in the volume the article by Lenir. 
on the trial of the deputies, a course also taken by the author in the third 
Russian edition of his book. 


Santa Barbara 



Series 9482 

nil 111 II III III 

AA 000 315 136 2 


Ha aHr/iMMCKOM nabiKe 



Moscow, UI. 25 Oktyabrya (Nikolskaya) 7 

Price Rbl. 3.50